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Erich Hartmann, German/American, 1922 - 1999
Title: Irish Actress Playing Molly Bloom
Date: 1964
Medium: Vintage gelatin silver print
15 x 22 cm
Credit Line: Presented, 2019
Object Number: NGI.2019.228
DescriptionErich Hartmann visited Dublin for the first time in 1964. He had already explored the city extensively in his imagination, ever since he first read James Joyce’s Ulysses. But now he came in reality, and he brought his cameras. Eager to understand the strange mix that spawned great artistry but repelled the artist, he wandered the city searching out every place and incident of Joyce’s fictional June day sixty years before. This search resulted in more than an evocation of a novel. It is a record of Erich Hartmann’s own journey of discovery through Dublin, captured in over 3,000 images.
Molly Bloom is a fictional character in the novel Ulysses by James Joyce. The wife of main character Leopold Bloom, she roughly corresponds to Penelope in Homer’s Odyssey. The major difference between Molly and Penelope is that while Penelope is eternally faithful, Molly is not. This photograph of the actress playing Molly Bloom was taken at an anniversary production of the novel transformed into a play, likely programmed for Bloomsday- June 4th.

ProvenanceEstate of Erich Hartmann; presented, 2019
Inscriptionon verso, upper right: Ruth Hartmann,
on verso, upper right (in pencil): Irish actress playing Molly Bloom in anniversary production