A pregnant woman just before her death, Greene County, Alabama
Date 1966
Artist:Charmian Sproule Reading, American, 1930 - 2014
Dimensions Overall, Image: 9 11/16 × 13 5/8 in. (24.6 × 34.6 cm) Overall, Mat: 20 × 24 in. (50.8 × 61 cm)
Medium Gelatin silver print
Credit Line Purchase, gift of Drs. Lea and Nancy Wilds
Description Reading recalls: "This seventeen-year-old woman posed for me with her mother and younger cousin in their tent. They were one of several families evicted from a plantation because they had registered to vote; they lived in tents on a friend's farm. I was in Greene County with Phillis Cunningham of the Medical Committee for Human Rights, trying to deal with some of the health problems there. Four days after this picture was taken, the young woman went into labor. The local white hospital turned her away; on the drive to another hospital, she bled to death."
Exhibition HistoryThe Chrysler Museum of Art, "Appeal of this Age: Photography of the Civil Rishts Movement" 12/21/96-3/2/97.
"Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, from the Museum Collection", THE CHRYSLER MUSEUM OF ART, NORFOLK, VA, February 6 - May 31, 1998.
"Civil Rights Photography," Newseum, Arlington, Virginia, January 8 - April 30, 2001.
"History of Photography," Alice R. and Sol B. Frank Photography Galleries, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Va, Fall, 2001.
"Silver Images: The Photography Collection at 25," Alice R. and Sol B. Frank Photo Galleries, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Va., November 5, 2003 - August 2004.
"Women of the Chrysler: a 400-Year Celebration of the Arts," Large Changing Gallery, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Va., March 24 - July 18, 2010.
"Women and the Civil Rights Movement," Photography Galleries, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA, June 14 - October 30, 2016.
Published ReferencesSteven Kasher, THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT A PHOTOGRAPHIC HISTORY, 1954-68, (New York: Abeville Press Publishers, 1996) 191.
Object Label Charmian Sproule Reading American, 1930−2014 A Pregnant Woman Just Before Her Death, Greene County, Alabama, May 4, 1966 Gelatin silver print (photograph) In the tradition of documentary photographers from the 1930s, Charmian Reading traveled through the rural South to record the region’s struggles with poverty, inequality, and discrimination. Here she visits a tent city in rural Alabama, a temporary home to blacks evicted by their landlords because they registered to vote. This family’s 17-year-old daughter, standing in the center, went into labor four days after this photograph was taken. When the nearby whites-only hospital turned her away, the young woman bled to death before she could reach another clinic. Museum purchase, with funds provided by Drs. Lea and Nancy Wilds 97.32
Object Number 97.32