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City Gates

Creation date: 1975
Creation place: Afghanistan

Other Information

Type: Dye transfer print
Medium and Support: Dye transfer print on paper
Credit Line: Victor Diaz Color Photography Collection
Accession Number: 2015.414
Dimensions: 8 1/2 x 13 in. (22 x 33 cm)
Currently on view

Label Copy

March 2023
Mountain, Meadow, Citadel: The Many Landscapes of Afghanistan
Luke Powell’s photographs of Afghanistan date to 1971, when he first encountered the country while traveling overland from Israel to India. His path to Afghanistan, however, was not a direct one. Powell had participated in archaeological excavations in Israel for a few seasons when, in 1971, he decided to travel to India but got caught up in the war between India and Pakistan. Traveling to Kabul for safety and remaining through the winter, Powell was struck by its landscape, culture, and people, calling Afghanistan the “jewel of Central Asia, an extraordinary window on the ancient world.” Resolving to produce photographs in Afghanistan that would make Americans embrace its people and culture, he visited the country several times until just before the Saur Revolution in 1978. Powell returned in 2000, working as a professional photographer for various United Nations agencies, documenting minefields, mine victims, and de-mining efforts until 2003. A selection of his photographs from the Museum’s collection features Afghanistan’s diverse geography, with views into some of its cities and remote villages. They represent Powell’s use of the dye transfer process to transform raw 35 mm film into the printed images seen here.
Last Updated: 3/21/2023


Edition number, Lower left: 9/100

Signature, Lower right:

Title and notations, Lower center: City Gates, Tashkurghan, Afghanistan, 1975, 6 x 7 Pentax, Vericolor, / dye transfer print 1991, 40 IV 61 a, (c ) Luke Powell, 1981.

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