Photography is a strange phenomenon. You trust your eye and you cannot help
but bare your soul. One's vision finds of necessity the form suitable to express it.

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A Llama in Times Square (1957)

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Like many of the iconic images for which she is recognized, Inge Morath’s A Llama in Times Square originated in a magazine assignment. In its December 2, 1957 issue, LIFE magazine published a one-page story, in its humorous Animals section, entitled High-paid llama in big city. The story was about a menagerie of television animals—including, in addition to the llama, large and small dogs, cats, birds, a pig, a kangaroo, and a miniature bull—living at home with their trainers in a Manhattan brownstone.

The story in LIFE featured three photographs by Morath, including a cropped close-up of Linda the Llama. Curiously, the caption accompanying the closeup describes the llama as ogling from the window of a taxi on her way to make a television appearance. In fact, she was in the back seat of her trainer’s car, and, as Morath explains, on her way home from the studio when the picture was taken. Morath’s full caption reads, “Linda, the Lama (sic) rides home via Broadway. She is just coming home from a television show in New York’s A.B.C. studios and now takes a relaxed and long-necked look at the lights of one of the world’s most famous streets.”

In Morath’s work chronology, her contact sheets for the story are marked “57-1,” indicating that this was her first assignment in the year 1957. On the back of a vintage work print of the iconic picture, Morath has inscribed the caption, “57-1. … read more

6 Responses to “A Llama in Times Square (1957)”

  1. Emily Morath says:

    It’s unusual finding out about someone you’re related to, but amazing to find out about the work they did!

  2. george says:

    llamas are amazing i have many of them because i am a famous llama herder!!!!!!!!

  3. [...] A Llama in Times Square (1957) [...]

  4. Joni Hampton says:

    Breezing into town to audition for Llama Mia.

  5. Ingrid says:

    Interesante, hoy dia seria imposible tener una foto asi!!!

  6. marisa tabti-bartal says:

    mein liebstes foto von inge morath… ich hatte das poster ihrer ausstellung im botanique in bruxelles, ist viele jahre her, hab’s leider im hotel montana in petionville, haiti stehn lassen, irgendwann im mai 2004, – steht auch nicht mehr das hotel seit dem erdbeben 6 jahre später…, such noch immer nach dem poster, find es nirgends – sollt es jemand haben…?

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