Untitled, from the series Wild West
1988 Polaroid Polacolor ER Land Film
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of an anonymous donor 2018.3.178
This portrait of a solitary female figure holding an infant is one of just a few images in the Wild West series that represents frontier women. In contrast to the roaming cowboy, Hollywood’s archetypal Western woman never strayed far from home. Classic films portray her as Levinthal does here, fenced off from the frontier and attending to domestic life. Yet Levinthal places the bonneted figure at the center of his photograph, reminding us that women played an essential role in the real settling of the West.