25th Street, Birmingham, Alabama

Peter Sekaer, American (born Denmark), 1901 - 1950



Gelatin silver print

Sheet: 9 3/16 × 13 1/16 in. (23.3 × 33.1 cm)

Mount: 19 15/16 × 16 in. (50.6 × 40.6 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Elizabeth and David C. Lowenstein '67 Fund, the Guernsey Center Moore 1904 Memorial Fund, the Julia L. Whittier Fund, and a gift from Elisabeth Waterworth Russell in memory of Angus M. Russell, Class of 1952, and in honor of his class's 65th reunion



Place Made: United States, North America


20th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Inscribed, on mount, lower left, beneath image, in graphite: Birmingham, Ala.


This image of two African American women in their home in Birmingham, Alabama, highlights the nature of race in a city. During the Jim Crow era, the urban South was heavily segregated. Birmingham was no different. Zoning laws in the city created hard lines between segregated neighborhoods with no room for interaction. In this period in Birmingham, a Klu Klux Klan–endorsed city commissioner slashed New Deal programs, and unions in support of racial and wage equality were harassed by both the government and other citizens.  

In these times of turmoil, a peaceful, domestic scene of two Black women is unexpected and refreshing. This image also juxtaposes labor and leisure, with one woman reading and the other cleaning. Peter Sekaer, during his work for the Rural Electrification Administration as part of the New Deal, took many pictures of everyday realities in the American South.

From the 2022 exhibition A Space for Dialogue 104, Southern Gothic, curated by Abigail Smith '23, Conroy Intern

Course History

WGSS 30.05/LACS 36, Maid in America, Francine A'Ness, Spring 2021

Exhibition History

A Space for Dialogue 104, Southern Gothic, Abigail Smith, Class of 2023, Conroy Intern, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 8–February 27, 2022.


Charles Isaacs Photographs, Inc., New York, New York; sold to present collection, 2017.

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