Highly verbal from earliest youth, Duane Michals took up photography only in his late twenties; he did not unite the two forms of expression until he was forty-three. Upon his father’s death in 1975, Michals added a paragraph to a fifteen-year-old portrait of his parents and his brother. “As long as I can remember,” he wrote, “my father always said that one day he would write me a very special letter. But he never told me what the letter might be about. ... I knew what I hoped to read in the letter. I wanted him to tell me where he had hidden his affection. But then he died, and the letter never did arrive. And I never found that place where he had hidden his love.”
Duane Michals (b. 1932), A Letter from my Father, 1960 (image), 1975 (text). Gelatin silver print with manual additions. Gift of Duane Michals, 2019.78. © Duane Michals, Courtesy of DC Moore Gallery, New York.