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Photographers and children

For me photography had an immediacy . . . I was trying to resolve certain issues. What was fair or unfair about how people lived, and how they had to live? I thought the most penetrating and most immediate way to get to some of those questions was through photography.

–Jerome Liebling, Minnesota Daily, 1997

The little boy in this photo wears an expression and a hat that are both about 30 years too old for him. He looks directly into the camera, apparently unalarmed even though the camera and the photographer are obviously looming over him. The angle of the photograph, taken from an adult height, emphasizes the boy’s small size and his vulnerability. “By shooting this youngster without much environmental detail, I wanted to invite the viewer’s sympathetic interest in him, from his curious gaze to his gracefully crossed hands to the poverty betrayed by his cheaply made, broken shoes,” wrote photographer Jerome Liebling. (Documentary Photography, 1972)

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Minneapolis Institute of Arts