Father Swings Son in Sunset, Tuskegee, Alabama

Chester Higgins, American, born 1946



Gelatin silver print

Image: 7 × 5 1/16 in. (17.8 × 12.9 cm)

Sheet: 9 15/16 × 8 1/16 in. (25.3 × 20.4 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Purchased through the Contemporary Art Fund

© Chester Higgins, all rights reserved. Courtesy of Bruce Silverstein Gallery



Place Imaged: Tuskgegee, United States, North America

Place Made: United States, North America


20th century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


Signed, on reverse, below center, in graphite: Chester Higgins; inscribed, on reverse, top edge, in graphite: Tuskegee 1308N21 / Cover- DRums of Life book; Stamped, on reverse, above center, upside down, in black ink: COPYRIGHTED PHOTOGRAPH / By CHESTER HIGGINS, JR. / CREDIT MUST / BE GIVEN; Stamped, on reverse, center, in black ink: [Eye of Horus] / [in rectangle] CHESTER HIGGINS JR. / COPYRIGHTED PHOTOGRAPH / ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; Stamped, on reverse, lower right, in black ink: [Eye of Horus] / CHESTER / HIGGINS / c[circled] JR


Silhouetted against a setting sun, a father swings his child. Chester Higgins selected this photograph for the cover of his 1974 book Drums of Life: A Photographic Essay on the Black Man in America. This collection of Higgins’s photographs documented African American men in a positive light that reflected the artist’s lived experience. In choosing this image, Higgins made the father/child relationship central to his message about Black men in America. In the early 1970s, this bucolic image of family would have forcefully refuted stigmatizing impressions of Black fatherhood promoted by both the media and government documents.

From the 2024 exhibition And I'm Feeling Good: Relaxation and Resistance, curated by Alisa Swindell, Associate Curator of Photography

Course History

Art History 5.01, Introduction to Contemporary Art, Mary Coffey and Chad Elias, Winter 2024

Art History 83.07, Keywords for ARTH: Race, Mary Coffey, Winter 2024

Theater 10.55, African and African American Studies 32.15, Curating Black Theater, Monica Ndounou, Spring 2024

Exhibition History

And I'm Feeling Good: Relaxation and Resistance, Ivan Albright Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 20-April 13, 2024.

Published References

Echo of the Spirit, A Photographer’s Journey, Doubleday, Random House, Inc, 2004; p. 378. Drums of Life, A Photographic Essay on the Black Man in America, 1974; p. 5, 129 and cover.


The artist, personal archive; Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York, New York; sold to present collection, 2023.

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