Girl with Bicycle, in the Coombe, Dublin


Evelyn Hofer (American, born Germany, 1922; active New York; died Mexico, 2009)




Dye transfer print


16 3/8 x 13 1/8 inches


Gift of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser in honor of Brett Abbott

Accession #


On View

Currently not on view

There is something defiant about the way this girl addresses the camera. The bicycle she awkwardly straddles is far too big for her; if she were to attempt to ride off, we can imagine her jerky departure. The girl is dwarfed by the wide road, staunch brick buildings, and heavy sky. Still, she turns to face us head on, unwavering. In her typical documentary style, Evelyn Hofer has carefully composed this photograph to turn an unspectacular moment of everyday life into a meditation on coming-of-age. After her family fled Nazi Germany and settled in Switzerland, Hofer decided to become a photographer. She obtained an apprenticeship and diligently studied technique, theory, and the chemistry involved in producing prints. She worked for magazines in New York before turning to fine art and editorial photography. While collaborating with travel authors, Hofer spent time in various locations, including Florence, Paris, and Dublin, where this photograph was taken. An early innovator of color photography, Hofer used color to direct attention to her subjects. In this image, the girl’s red stockings and pink shirt set her apart from the subdued greens and greys of the street.