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James Merrill and God Daughter, Ourania Aleuras, Stonington
Photography; gelatin silver print dry mounted to mat board
Primary Dimensions (image height x width): 7 7/16 x 9in. (18.9 x 22.9cm) Sheet (height x width): 7 7/16 x 9in. (18.9 x 22.9cm) Mount (height x width): 7 7/16 x 9in. (18.9 x 22.9cm)
Credit Line: Gift of the Rosalie Thorne McKenna Foundation
Description: Portrait of a man holding a toddler. Closely cropped, only the subjects' shoulders and heads are visible.
Subject Note: James Merrill (1926-1995) was an American poet. He was born into the wealthy family of financiers that made up half of the New York firm Merrill Lynch. After being drafted into the Army to serve in World War II, he completed his undergraduate education at Amherst College. "The Black Swan" was his first published book of poetry; it was privately released in 1946, when Merrill was 20. In 1951, "First Poems" was commercially published. Merrill went on to win every major poetry award during his fifty-year career: the Pulitzer Prize in 1977 for "Divine Comedies;" the National Book Award for Poetry in 1967 and 1979, for "Nights and Days" and "Mirabell: Books of Number;" the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1983 for "The Changing Light at Sandover," and the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry in 1988 for "The Inner Room." In 1978, he was made a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Merrill and his partner, David Jackson, moved to Stonington, Connecticut, in 1955, where they remained until Merrill died in 1995, of an AIDS-related heart attack. From
Inscription: Verso of mount, center, black marker: "JAMES MERRILL + / GoD DAUGHTER, OURANIA ALEURAS / STONINGTON 1973"
Object Number: 2011.344.1129
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