W. Eugene Smith

Girl at the flower shop. New York, 1958

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After quitting LIFE magazine in 1954, W. Eugene Smith moved into a shabby loft in New York’s flower district. Smith described the broken window as “the proscenium arch with me on the third stage looking through it, … and the whole audience in performance down before me, an everchanging pandemonium of delicate details and habitual rhythms.” LIFE published this work, “As From My Window I Sometimes Glance,” under the headline “Drama Beneath a City Window” on March 10, 1958, and in its 1978 book Great Photographic Essays from LIFE. The caption read: “Bursting from the florist’s in what was probably her Communion dress, the girl seemed a Dresden figurine come alive. Amid city’s tired things — ashcan, hydrant, battered flower stands — she became a creature of lovely fantasy. ‘For the moment,’ Smith remembers, ‘she took over the scene. Everyone turned to look at her.’ Then she was gone.”


Gelatin silver print
Open edition
Estate stamped

11 x 14 in / 28 x 36 cm
16 x 20 in / 40 x 50 cm
20 x 24 in / 50 x 60 cm


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