This photograph is part of Mitch Epstein’s series Family Business, which traces the decline of Holyoke, Massachusetts, a once-prosperous industrial town, through the example of his own family’s waning fortunes. The series becomes a metaphor for many small American towns in flux, depopulated and with jobs in short supply.
Walls darkened by soot, Apartment 304, 398 Main Street shows a building belonging to Epstein’s father that was condemned after a fire. Yet the image also forms a stunning still life—an emblem of the fragility of life.
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
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