Tricycle (Memphis)

Image Not Available Due to Copyright Restrictions
  • William Eggleston, Tricycle (Memphis), ca. 1975, printed 1980, dye transfer print, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Amy Loeserman Klein, 1985.87.12, © Eggleston Artistic Trust. Courtesy Cheim & Read, New York

An ordinary tricycle is made monumental in this playful color photograph. Taken from below, it suggests a child’s perspective – elevating this rusty tricycle to a symbol of innocence and freedom. The quiet Memphis suburb in the background typifies the safe neighborhoods where children could spend hours playing after school. This print was made with the expensive and exacting dye imbibition process, which was typically used for fashion and advertising at the time. Eggleston began experimenting with color photography in the mid-1960s. Inspired by trips to a commercial photography lab, he developed an approach that imitates the random, imperfect style of amateur snapshots to describe his immediate surroundings combined with a keen interest in the effects of color.

A Democracy of Images: Photographs from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2013
Tricycle (Memphis)
ca. 1975, printed 1980
Not on view
sheet: 1620 in. (40.650.8 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Amy Loeserman Klein

Mediums Description
dye transfer print
  • Cityscape – Tennessee – Memphis
  • Architecture Exterior – domestic – house
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI