back bounded-next cafe calendar-large calendar cart close coat-check collapse donate download elevators expand explore filter grid-view hamburger heart hours join link list-view location mail more next nursing-room phone print programs ramp restrooms right-arrow search share shop thumbs-down thumbs-up tickets up toilet heart-filled zoom Skip to Content

The Repulsive Bed

Photography

Search and Share Tools

The Repulsive Bed

Artwork Details

Artist/Maker

Clarence John Laughlin
American, 1905–1985

Date

1941

Medium

Gelatin silver print

Accession #

74.158

Dimensions

10 3/8 × 13 1/2 inches

Location

Currently Not on View

Description

Referring to his own fraught relationships with women, Laughlin described this ethereal photograph of a woman lounging atop a collapsed, tattered bed in a decaying house as an “Image of those who endure marriage, without love, because of convention. [The] marriage bed becomes repulsive, and part
of it turns into a monster head.” The veil across the woman’s face gives her a haunting look, as if she is fading away along with the house around her. The
cracks in the wall reinforce the idea of a fractured, failing marriage, while the
shadows envelop her in darkness.

Credit

Purchase

COVID-19: Museum is closed to the public. Learn more.