In 1975, Nicholas Nixon began a series of annual photographs of four sisters that have spanned 43 years of their lives – to date. Although married to one sister, Bebe, Nixon’s series is more than a record for the family album. The black and white photograph collection has been exhibited in many galleries and museums and published as a book.
The photos offer an insight into how we age and wear life experiences in our physicality, along with the closeness siblings can have. Interviews with Nixon give a further glimpse of the process. While the poses and the location vary a little from year to year, the left to right position of each of the sisters is always the same.
The Brown sisters in 1975, New Canaan, Connecticut. From left to right is Heather aged 23, Mimi aged 15, Bebe aged 25 and Laurie aged 21. The sisters lined up and Nixon has said they liked it and found it refreshing because it was different from the traditional family line up from youngest to oldest – and being expected to smile!