Editorial Feature

The Extraordinary Portraits of The Brown Sisters

One photo every year, for over four decades

In 1975, photographer Nicholas Nixon took a picture of his wife, Bebe, and her three sisters. The girls stood in a line—first Heather, 23, then Mimi, 15, Bebe, 25, and Laurie, 21—posing casually and gazing impassively into the camera. A year later, he took the same picture: the girls in the same order, with the same neutral faces.

Over the following decades, this became an annual tradition. In his now most famous and emotive photographic series, which still continues today, Nixon documents the changing appearance of the girls using black and white film on a 8x10in view camera on a tripod.

Here are the first 38 photos:

The Brown Sisters, 1975, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1976, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1977, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1978, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1979, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1980, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1981, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1982, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1983, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1984, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1985, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1986, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1987, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1988, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1989, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1990, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1991, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1992, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1993, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1994, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1995, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1996, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1997, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1998, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 1999, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 2000, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 2001, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 2002, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 2003, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 2004, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 2005, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 2006, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 2007, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 2008, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 2009, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 2010, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 2011, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
The Brown Sisters, 2012, by Nicholas Nixon (From the collection of Fundacion MAPFRE)
Credits: All media
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