Born in Los Angeles, Marilyn Brodwick attended the University of California at Berkeley and the University of California at Los Angels, where she received a B.A. in psychology in 1970. In 1973, she made Galveston her home and received her M.A. in Preventive Medicine and Community Health from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB). Her interest in photography began as a child when she experimented with a brownie box camera. For Brodwick, photography morphed from a curiosity to a passion with the birth of her son (who mind you is quite adorable.)
With fascination of the elderly, Brodwick photographs them at their work and at play, in joy and reflection, in defiance and resignation.
Marilyn Brodwick has received numerous awards and fellowships for her work, which hangs in permanent museum collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. Marilyn has participated in numerous exhibitions and been called on to document medical missions abroad. Her body of work spans multiple continents with the unique ability to capture a subject’s most personal nature.
Like many upcoming artists, Marilyn’s work spanned a wide range of topics. In the mid-90s her work focused strongly on the elderly. Most often her encounters are not planned and can be as simple as running into someone on the street.
“Something makes me curious, I strike up a conversation and when I begin to sense the person behind the mask of age, I ask permission to take photographs. Rarely do I encounter any resistance.
Surprisingly the camera doesn’t get in the way. It locks us together for a time, a time in which my movements and the subject’s respond to each other, like a momentary dance. As our conversation flows and the intimacy develops, I keep shooting and looking for the characteristic features or gestures – a tilt of the head or sweep of the hand- that will lead to the person inside. When you look at the outside of a person you don’t see the life. The way into the fullness and beauty of the life may be wrinkled hand or the sadness or fierce gleam of an eye.”
From her son
It is rare to see my mom without her camera. Even a trip to the corner market, likely means the lugging of multiple cameras, lens and baggage. As a child, I realized that I could capitalize on her interest by charging her $.05 per picture. While this didn’t end up buying me the Ferrari that I had hoped, it did allow for plenty of treats, which I was not supposed to have. As a family, we took annual trips from Galveston to Cape Cod over a span of 14 years. The trips could have just as well been a school bus route with the millions of photography stops along the way. And while, I protested vehemently early on, I began to realize and appreciate her unbelievable talent for spotting and capturing the most fantastic and important images. Luckily for my sister and I, our two children have redirected the camera lens.
Like many artists focused on their craft sometimes it takes an outside person to make sure that the world has the opportunity to benefit from their dedication. We hope the galleries provide a glimpse into what we have been seeing for the past four decades.