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The Inheritance

In the spring of 1943 Helen started a series of fifty-five pictures of Sybil outdoors, which she called The Inheritance. Some were taken at Northbrook and others in the drumlins near Newark, New York. Sybil writes in her autobiography: “The Inheritance was a departure. It had to do with universal, spiritual truths – man’s journey through life . . . These photographs are the real record of why we had met, and Helen continued to help me find what she had seen in me as an artist.”

An undated, unfinished typed memo by Helen seems to refer to The Inheritance:

“TO SYBIL SHEARER: When I first started to make these pictures of you, little did I realize the immensity and the scope of you and your work as an artist; but as the days sped by and one negative after another found its way into being, while I found myself growing nearer and nearer to a clear conception of a cosmic principle that I could concretely state into these forms, I slowly but surely sought and found the ability to say [it].”