Night, circa 1959-1983

Scope and content:

While traveling in the United States during the 1960s and 1970s, Gedney shot distinctive night-time scenes in California, Montana, New York State, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Tennessee. The images rarely feature people, but instead focus on buildings and houses, starkly portrayed, often with a car in the foreground.

Gedney began this night work early in his career, starting with a series of photographs of the Brooklyn Bridge taken about 1959. A few street scenes in Brooklyn were also taken at night. Later night photography - and among the few examples with people - are found in the India Series, where Gedney photographed people and animals sleeping out of doors in the city.

There are more night scenes scattered throughout other series, for example, in the all-night life on the streets of San Francisco. As Gedney did not view these as part of his Night project, he filed them in their respective bodies of work. To discover all of these instances in the online digitized collection or in this inventory, one can search on the subject term, "Night photography." Additional test prints from the Night work can be found in the Film and Development Tests series.

Gedney wrote about night photography in his many journals and notebooks, found in the Writings and Notebooks Series, and book maquettes for his Brooklyn Bridge and Benares night photographs are found in the Book Projects Series. Several of Gedney's "Night" images from India were also published in a layout entitled "Ritual and the river" in Aperture (1986); the issue is found in the Printed Materials series.

Prints in this series are arranged in rough chronological order.


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Collection restrictions:

Portions of the collection are closed pending digitization.

Negatives and original audiovisual media are closed to use. Viewing and listening copies are available upon advance request.

Please contact the Rubenstein Library before coming to use this collection.

Use & permissions:

The copyright interests for Gedney images in this collection are held by Duke University. However, some commercial work, audio recordings, and materials by other creators, may carry other copyright considerations. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, or contact the Rubenstein Library.

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