[Benares, India]

William Gedney American

Not on view

A reclusive artist who supported himself as a teacher and graphic designer, Gedney photographed Brooklyn streets, coal miner families in Kentucky, and the hippie counterculture in Haight-Ashbury with remarkable sensitivity and grace. During his lifetime, his work was largely unknown outside of a few colleagues and curators, including Lee Friedlander, Diane Arbus, and John Szarkowski, who organized a small exhibition of his photographs at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 1968.
The following year, supported by a Fulbright Fellowship, Gedney made the first of two trips to India. He spent fourteen months in Benares, the sacred city on the banks of the Ganges, where he immersed himself in the study of Hindu culture and photographed on the ghats and in the winding alleys of the old city. His carefully composed images beautifully describe the eloquent physicality and communality of Indian public life.

[Benares, India], William Gedney (American, 1932–1989), Gelatin silver print

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.