Balto's Friends: Scarlet Tanager

Balto's Friends: Scarlet Tanager

1994, printed 2000

Part of a set. See all set records

Judith K. McMillan

(American, 1945-)

Gelatin silver print, toned

Image: 20.9 x 16.5 cm (8 1/4 x 6 1/2 in.); Paper: 25.3 x 20.3 cm (9 15/16 x 8 in.); Matted: 45.7 x 35.6 cm (18 x 14 in.)

Norman O. Stone and Ella A. Stone Memorial Fund 2003.236.4

Impression: 2



The six photographs called Balto’s Friends are named after the famous sled dog whose team delivered serum to Nome, Alaska, saving the area from diphtheria in 1925. For a number of years, McMillan has photographed in the research collections of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, where the taxidermized body of Balto resides. Balto’s many "friends" are in storage and are seldom seen by the general public. The creatures in these photographs were collected for the sake of scientific interest, then categorized, arranged into groups, and labeled. Depicting the museum’s collections not as subjects for study, but as still-life compositions possessing what the artist has called an "exquisite variety and pure beauty," McMillan discovered an aesthetic interest that is far from scientific.

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