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July 4th Celebration, Louisville, Jefferson County, KY

1976 Robert K. Hower Born: Boston, Massachusetts 1947 gelatin silver print image: 13 3/4 x 8 5/8 in. (34.9 x 21.9 cm) sheet: 14 in. x 10 7/8 in. (35.5 x 27.6 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Transfer from the National Endowment for the Arts ©1976, Robert K. Hower 1983.63.786 Not currently on view

Exhibition Label

Smoke fills the air as fireworks stream down on a Louisville parking lot. Nearby, a group of men huddle around the engine of a wrecked race car, unaware of the festivities surrounding them. Marking the nation’s bicentennial in 1976, Robert Hower juxtaposed two distinctly American traditions: Fourth of July fireworks and automobiles. Hower participated in a photographic survey of Kentucky sponsored by the National Endowment of the Arts, which was intended to commemorate this landmark event in U.S. history. A wide range of people posed for his camera, many in front of their homes and with their families, in rural areas of the state that most viewers would otherwise never see.

A Democracy of Images: Photographs from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2013


Architecture Exterior - other - parking lot

Architecture - vehicle - automobile

Ceremony - holiday - Fourth of July

Ceremony - other - fireworks

Cityscape - Kentucky - Louisville

Figure group - male

photography - photoprint

paper - agfa

gelatin silver

About Robert K. Hower

Born: Boston, Massachusetts 1947

More works in the collection by
Robert K. Hower