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Mummers Parade, Philadelphia

Burk Uzzle, American, born 1938

Photograph taken in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America


Gelatin silver print

Image: 12 1/16 × 18 3/8 inches (30.7 × 46.7 cm) Sheet: 15 7/8 × 19 15/16 inches (40.3 × 50.7 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Purchased with the Lola Downin Peck Fund and with funds contributed by Mr. and Mrs. John Medveckis, Douglas Mellor, Ross Watson, and other donors, 1984

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Though he photographs throughout the United States in search of what he calls "the great turbulent spirit of America," Uzzle is particularly fond of the city of Philadelphia and its annual Mummers Parade, deeming it "the most amazing thing I have ever seen anywhere. Mummers spend vast amounts of money and time on their costumes, and on New Year's Day put on this elaborate dress, unleash extraordinary quantities of spirit (not to mention spirits), and become living art." This exquisite Mummer, covered in glimmering paint, beads, and fabric, dangles a cigarette languidly from his lips, seemingly unaware of Uzzle's camera. Curiously, he appears introspective rather than engaged with the wildly spectacular occasion.