Blood

Photographer and imaging specialist Jackie Neale Chadwick reflects upon the impact of her family's history on her relationship with art.

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There's always this storytelling that goes on in my family that creates this eternal life for my ancestors. They were a force in my mind that was equally as important as any god.

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  • Jackie Neale Chadwick
    1280853
  • Messina Family immigration papers, June 28th, 1918  |  In photograph are Jackie Neale Chadwick's great-grandmother Gaetana (DePalma) Messina, uncles Antonio Messina, Alberto Messina, Vincenzo Messina, and grandfather Corradino Messina.
    8281024
  • Messina Family immigration papers, June 28th, 1918  |  In photograph are Jackie Neale Chadwick's great-grandmother Gaetana (DePalma) Messina, uncles Antonio Messina, Alberto Messina, Vincenzo Messina, and grandfather Corradino Messina.
    1280807
  • The Steerage  |  1907  |  Alfred Stieglitz (American)  |  Photogravure on vellum  |  Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933 (33.43.419)
    8051024
  • The Steerage  |  1907  |  Alfred Stieglitz (American)  |  Photogravure on vellum  |  Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933 (33.43.419)
    1280846
  • The Steerage  |  1907  |  Alfred Stieglitz (American)  |  Photogravure on vellum  |  Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933 (33.43.419)
    691859
  • The Steerage  |  1907  |  Alfred Stieglitz (American)  |  Photogravure on vellum  |  Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933 (33.43.419)
    967748
  • [Two Young Women before a Pastry Shop at Night]  |  1948  |  Sid Grossman (American)  |  Gelatin silver print  |  Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1990 (1990.1139.1)  |  © 2010 Miriam Grossman Cohen
    1280814
  • [Two Young Women before a Pastry Shop at Night]  |  1948  |  Sid Grossman (American)  |  Gelatin silver print  |  Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1990 (1990.1139.1)  |  © 2010 Miriam Grossman Cohen
    1142722
  • Landscape with Goat  |  ca. 1485?/90–1576  |  Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (Italian)  |  Pen and brown ink  |  Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul L. Herring and John D. Herring, 1991 (1991.462)
    1280820
  • Landscape with Goat  |  ca. 1485?/90–1576  |  Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (Italian)  |  Pen and brown ink  |  Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul L. Herring and John D. Herring, 1991 (1991.462)
    1280821
  • The Coronation of the Virgin  |  after 1595  |  Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bolognese)  |  Oil on canvas  |  Purchase, Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876–1967), by exchange, and Dr. and Mrs. Manuel Porter and sons Gift, in honor of Mrs. Sarah Porter, 1971 (1971.155)
    12331024
  • Saint Francis Xavier with an Angel Holding a Crucifix  |  ca. 1722  |  Francesco Bertos (Italian)  |  Bronze  |  Purchase, Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ignazio Peluso, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso Gift, 2010 (2010.114)
    6521024
  • Saint Ignatius Loyola with an Angel Holding a Book Inscribed with the Motto of the Society of Jesus  |  ca. 1722  |  Francesco Bertos (Italian)  |  Bronze  |  Purchase, Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ignazio Peluso, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso Gift, 2010 (2010.113)
    7091024
  • Crucifix  |  ca. 1450  |  Follower of the Master of Rimini  |  South Netherlandish (?)  |  Alabaster  |  Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1916 (16.32.178)
    7591024
  • Kneeling Madonna  |  ca. 1490–1500  |  Giovanni della Robbia (Italian)  |  Terracotta, partially glazed and gilded  |  Rogers Fund, 1907 (07.196)
    7221024
  • Kneeling Madonna  |  ca. 1490–1500  |  Giovanni della Robbia (Italian)  |  Terracotta, partially glazed and gilded  |  Rogers Fund, 1907 (07.196)
    7221024
  • Change of Position  |  1911  |  Anton Giulio Bragaglia (Italian)  |  Gelatin silver print  |  Gilman Collection, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2005 (2005.100.135)
    1280918
  • [American Troops Landing on D-Day, Omaha Beach, Normandy Coast]  |  1944  |  Robert Capa (American, born Hungary)  |  Gelatin silver print  |  Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987 (1987.1100.501)
    1280888
  • Occasion for Diriment  |  1962  |  Ralph Eugene Meatyard (American)  |  Gelatin silver print  |  Rogers Fund, 1967 (67.543.29)  |  © The Estate of Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
    10641024
  • Vivien and Merlin  |  1874  |  Julia Margaret Cameron (British)  |  Albumen silver print from glass negative  |  David Hunter McAlpin Fund, 1952 (52.524.3.5)
    7701024
  • Photograph of family on a visit to a vineyard in Carmignano, Tuscano, Italia.  |  © 2009 Jackie Neale Chadwick
    6881024
  • Diptych from Apparitions of Death and Co.: Phil Ward  |  © 2009 Jackie Neale Chadwick
    1280431
  • Jackie Neale Chadwick
    1280853
  • My name is Jackie Neale Chadwick, and I'm a photographer and digital imaging specialist for The Metropolitan Museum of Art. My topic is blood, as in family, the thread that ties me to the past.

  • There's always this storytelling that goes on in my family that creates this eternal life for my ancestors. The way that they were portrayed to me, they were bigger than life.

  • They were a force in my mind that was equally as important as any god. They became revered, they became something that I identified with and felt empowered by.

  • We are of Italian descent. They immigrated to the United States in the early nineteen-hundreds, and it takes such strength to do that.

  • And so, to know that they did it empowers me to do what I'm doing. 'Cause all the obstacles I face are so miniscule compared

  • to that. So when I look at the Stieglitz Steerage, I have a clear picture of what my family went

  • through, very often traveling back and forth to Italy.

  • And then when I look at Two Young Women Before a Pastry Shop at Night, I think of all the fun stories that they told me about celebration in South Philadelphia. They just have story after story of good times and

  • being surrounded by family, and how, at the end of the day, that's all you have.

  • My brother and I were really pulled back to going to Italy to visit our family. It didn't seem to occur to my mother or her brother to go back. When I went back I actually saw a landscape that looks exactly like Landscape with Goat. I saw photographs

  • of four generations that lived in the house that my family still occupies. And my cousins, even though I look differently than them—I'm blonde, I'm blue-eyed—they just welcomed us in their house as if we never left.

  • I remember when I was growing up and being at my grandmother's house, that they had lots of iconography of Catholicism and Christianity in their house. Aside from the photograph of Keely Smith and Louis Prima in the bathroom,there were plenty of

  • statuettes of saints and kneeling Madonnas, and Madonna and Child paintings. Their struggles were very, very difficult in that time, and I really feel they had to

  • keep calling on these figures for strength. The Museum is this house of tactile history and there's people who come to the Museum for research. I, on the other hand, am walking through a museum and

  • connecting with artworks like the Crucifix and thinking, "Well, yeah, that was over my grandmom's bed.

  • And this Kneeling Madonna, well, you know, I inherited that after she died, and it was on my shelf for twenty-five years

  • didn't match the décor. You know I don't even believe in Catholicism," but I kept it there because it was such a part of my existence.

  • I don't want to sound kooky at all, but I really believe in different planes of existence. When people die, the actual physical person dies, but I really feel like they are still alive, and, you know, the intellectual part of me always

  • rationalizes "well, that's because they're alive in our memories and these storytelling ways." But I also have always felt this presence of my ancestors around me.

  • That's one reason I really love photography is it sort of makes things look like they're forever going to live in that square. I almost visualize them moving around in it.

  • And I always wanted to capture that in my own photography, the sense of a spirit, a soul. Very often I see the work that I do as a relic.

  • I see it as an offering to my ancestors. I often have told myself—I call my grandmother MomMom Teresa—I say, "MomMom Teresa, I'm your eyes."

  • So, as I'm walking through the galleries it's not really just myself, I feel as if I have my ancestors with me. Whenever I'm behind my camera, I want to connect with them

  • and so I want to see what comes through me.

  • 33.43.419
    The Steerage, 1907, Alfred Stieglitz (American), Photogravure on vellum Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933 (33.43.419)
  • 1990.1139.1
    [Two Young Women before a Pastry Shop at Night], 1948, Sid Grossman (American), Gelatin silver print Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1990 (1990.1139.1) © 2010 Miriam Grossman Cohen
  • 1991.462
    Landscape with Goat, ca. 1485?/90–1576, Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (Italian), Pen and brown ink Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul L. Herring and John D. Herring, 1991 (1991.462)
  • 1971.155
    The Coronation of the Virgin, after 1595, Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bolognese), Oil on canvas Purchase, Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876–1967), by exchange, and Dr. and Mrs. Manuel Porter and sons Gift, in honor of Mrs. Sarah Porter, 1971 (1971.155)
  • 2010.114
    Saint Francis Xavier with an Angel Holding a Crucifix, ca. 1722, Francesco Bertos (Italian), Bronze Purchase, Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ignazio Peluso, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso Gift, 2010 (2010.114)
  • 2010.113
    Saint Ignatius Loyola with an Angel Holding a Book Inscribed with the Motto of the Society of Jesus, ca. 1722, Francesco Bertos (Italian), Bronze Purchase, Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ignazio Peluso, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso Gift, 2010 (2010.113)
  • 16.32.178
    Crucifix, ca. 1450, Follower of the Master of Rimini, South Netherlandish (?), Alabaster Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1916 (16.32.178)
  • 07.196
    Kneeling Madonna, ca. 1490–1500, Giovanni della Robbia (Italian), Terracotta, partially glazed and gilded Rogers Fund, 1907 (07.196)
  • 2005.100.135
    Change of Position, 1911, Anton Giulio Bragaglia (Italian), Gelatin silver print Gilman Collection, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2005 (2005.100.135)
  • 1987.1100.501
    [American Troops Landing on D-Day, Omaha Beach, Normandy Coast], 1944, Robert Capa (American, born Hungary), Gelatin silver print Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987 (1987.1100.501)
  • 67.543.29
    Occasion for Diriment, 1962, Ralph Eugene Meatyard (American), Gelatin silver print Rogers Fund, 1967 (67.543.29) © The Estate of Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
  • 52.524.3.5
    Vivien and Merlin, 1874, Julia Margaret Cameron (British), Albumen silver print from glass negative David Hunter McAlpin Fund, 1952 (52.524.3.5)
  • The Steerage, 1907, Alfred Stieglitz (American), Photogravure on vellum Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933 (33.43.419)
    [Two Young Women before a Pastry Shop at Night], 1948, Sid Grossman (American), Gelatin silver print Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1990 (1990.1139.1) © 2010 Miriam Grossman Cohen
    Landscape with Goat, ca. 1485?/90–1576, Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (Italian), Pen and brown ink Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul L. Herring and John D. Herring, 1991 (1991.462)
    The Coronation of the Virgin, after 1595, Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bolognese), Oil on canvas Purchase, Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876–1967), by exchange, and Dr. and Mrs. Manuel Porter and sons Gift, in honor of Mrs. Sarah Porter, 1971 (1971.155)
    Saint Francis Xavier with an Angel Holding a Crucifix, ca. 1722, Francesco Bertos (Italian), Bronze Purchase, Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ignazio Peluso, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso Gift, 2010 (2010.114)
    Saint Ignatius Loyola with an Angel Holding a Book Inscribed with the Motto of the Society of Jesus, ca. 1722, Francesco Bertos (Italian), Bronze Purchase, Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ignazio Peluso, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso Gift, 2010 (2010.113)
    Crucifix, ca. 1450, Follower of the Master of Rimini, South Netherlandish (?), Alabaster Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1916 (16.32.178)
    Kneeling Madonna, ca. 1490–1500, Giovanni della Robbia (Italian), Terracotta, partially glazed and gilded Rogers Fund, 1907 (07.196)
    Change of Position, 1911, Anton Giulio Bragaglia (Italian), Gelatin silver print Gilman Collection, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2005 (2005.100.135)
    [American Troops Landing on D-Day, Omaha Beach, Normandy Coast], 1944, Robert Capa (American, born Hungary), Gelatin silver print Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987 (1987.1100.501)
    Occasion for Diriment, 1962, Ralph Eugene Meatyard (American), Gelatin silver print Rogers Fund, 1967 (67.543.29) © The Estate of Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
    Vivien and Merlin, 1874, Julia Margaret Cameron (British), Albumen silver print from glass negative David Hunter McAlpin Fund, 1952 (52.524.3.5)
    8000–2000 B.C.
    2000–1000 B.C.
    1000 B.C.–1 A.D.
    1–500 A.D.
    500–1000 A.D.
    1000–1400 A.D.
    1400–1600 A.D.
    1600–1800 A.D.
    1800–1900 A.D.
    1900–Present

    Works of art in order of appearance

    Last Updated: August 19, 2013. Not all works of art in the Museum's collection may be on view on a particular day. For the most accurate location information, please check this page on the day of your visit.

    The Steerage
    1907
    Alfred Stieglitz (American)
    Photogravure on vellum
    Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933 (33.43.419)
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    [Two Young Women before a Pastry Shop at Night]
    1948
    Sid Grossman (American)
    Gelatin silver print
    Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1990 (1990.1139.1)
    © 2010 Miriam Grossman Cohen
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    Landscape with Goat
    ca. 1485?/90–1576
    Titian (Tiziano Vecellio) (Italian)
    Pen and brown ink
    Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Paul L. Herring and John D. Herring, 1991 (1991.462)
    Not on view
    Drawings and PrintsSecond Floor
    The Coronation of the Virgin
    after 1595
    Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bolognese)
    Oil on canvas
    Purchase, Bequest of Miss Adelaide Milton de Groot (1876–1967), by exchange, and Dr. and Mrs. Manuel Porter and sons Gift, in honor of Mrs. Sarah Porter, 1971 (1971.155)
    On view: Gallery 623
    European PaintingsSecond Floor
    Saint Francis Xavier with an Angel Holding a Crucifix
    ca. 1722
    Francesco Bertos (Italian)
    Bronze
    Purchase, Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ignazio Peluso, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso Gift, 2010 (2010.114)
    On view: Gallery 508
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Saint Ignatius Loyola with an Angel Holding a Book Inscribed with the Motto of the Society of Jesus
    ca. 1722
    Francesco Bertos (Italian)
    Bronze
    Purchase, Assunta Sommella Peluso, Ignazio Peluso, Ada Peluso and Romano I. Peluso Gift, 2010 (2010.113)
    On view: Gallery 508
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Crucifix
    ca. 1450
    Follower of the Master of Rimini
    South Netherlandish (?)
    Alabaster
    Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1916 (16.32.178)
    On view: Gallery 305
    Medieval Art and The CloistersFirst Floor
    Kneeling Madonna
    ca. 1490–1500
    Giovanni della Robbia (Italian)
    Terracotta, partially glazed and gilded
    Rogers Fund, 1907 (07.196)
    Not on view
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Change of Position
    1911
    Anton Giulio Bragaglia (Italian)
    Gelatin silver print
    Gilman Collection, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2005 (2005.100.135)
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    [American Troops Landing on D-Day, Omaha Beach, Normandy Coast]
    1944
    Robert Capa (American, born Hungary)
    Gelatin silver print
    Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987 (1987.1100.501)
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    Occasion for Diriment
    1962
    Ralph Eugene Meatyard (American)
    Gelatin silver print
    Rogers Fund, 1967 (67.543.29)
    © The Estate of Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor
    Vivien and Merlin
    1874
    Julia Margaret Cameron (British)
    Albumen silver print from glass negative
    David Hunter McAlpin Fund, 1952 (52.524.3.5)
    Not on view
    PhotographsSecond Floor

    © 2011 The Metropolitan Museum of Art