Michals, Duane

The House I Once Called Home: De luxe edition


Artist: Duane Michals
Date: 2003

Michals was 70 when he conceived the extended sequence of photographs and poetic texts that constitute The House I Once Called 


He returned to his native Pittsburgh to revisit the house in which he was born just a few years after the death of his mother. Its deteriorated state proved a poignant focus for his memories, prompting reveries on mortality and the succession of generations that found form both verbally and visually.

From the beginning, Michals imagined The House I Once Called Home as a work that needed to be structured in book form. The interaction of his words and images provides a sensitive and moving account of one man’s journey through life. The frequent superimposition of new photographs onto much older images taken in the same location, creates a highly affecting layering of time that lies at the centre of Michals’s art.

The House I Once Called Home is powerfully intimate in focus, and demonstrates conclusively the possibility of exposing universal truths through the most personal events. It is a work with which every reader will be able to relate through the filter of his or her own experience, and which will undoubtedly accrue new meanings as we ourselves return to it at different stages in our lives.

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Image of The House I Once Called Home

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