The Startling Portraiture of Mary Ellen Mark

Known for her humanistic black-and-white portraits, Mary Ellen Mark made it her life's work to photograph those who didn't quite fit in. Whether that meant capturing the day-to-day life of Indian circus performers, the peculiarity of twins, or the loneliness of celebrities, she was drawn to people with pronounced personalities. “Attitude,” a new exhibition at the Howard Greenberg Gallery, explores this idea through 40 of the late photographer's images. “She was passionate and compassionate. Life mattered. Animals mattered. People mattered,” said Melissa Harris, the show's curator. The images focus on “self-possession,” Harris said, and highlight Mark's ability to make viewers “feel, without telling you what or how to feel.” The gallery has shared a selection of these images with The Atlantic, presented below.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Piero Cruciatti / AFP / Getty

    An Unimaginable Toll

    A collection of recent images from around the world, reflecting the huge global death toll amid the coronavirus pandemic

  • Ina Fassbender / AFP / Getty

    For Those Who Can’t Go Outside, Images of Spring

    A virtual trip outdoors—a collection of recent images from North America, Asia, and Europe, of tulips, sunshine, and cherry blossoms

  • Yuanshuai Si / Getty

    Ohio: Images of the Buckeye State

    A few glimpses of Ohio’s landscape, and some of the animals and people calling it home

  • Lisa Maree Williams / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Masked Monks, Windmill Walk, Birthday Parade

    Lockdown in Nepal, a drive-up church service in Tennessee, a medical isolation booth in Boston, a medical detection dog in England, a sanitizing tunnel in Mexico, and much more