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William Eggleston

Huntsville, Alabama



William Eggleston (1939-)


Huntsville, Alabama




Chromogenic print


Sheet: 20 1/16 × 15 7/8 in. (51 × 40.3 cm) Image: 18 3/8 × 12 3/4 in. (46.7 × 32.4 cm)

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Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Virginia M. Zabriskie

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Object Label

Huntsville, Alabama is one of forty-eight photographs included in William Eggleston’s Guide, the book that accompanied the photographer’s landmark exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1976. Casual yet arresting, the image of a businessman in a hotel room—taken on one of Eggleston’s many journeys through the American South—exemplifies not only his command of color (the saturated hues of the citron walls and crimson carpet are brought out through the dye-transfer print process) but also his seemingly intuitive feel for pictorial composition. While the photograph possesses the snapshot aesthetic that marks the majority of his work, Eggleston also dramatizes the scene by framing the man with an opening in the wall. For all of their seeming straightforwardness, however, mood often remains ambivalent or open-ended in Eggleston’s photographs. About the subject in this work, for example, he recalled, “He seems quite lonely. But that’s just the way he seems. He didn’t feel that way. He was having a very nice bourbon. He was in a good mood.”

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