Back to top

Small Deaths

Small Deaths
Introduction by A. D. Coleman

The first book-length work devoted to the photographs of Kate Breakey, gathering 75 images from her "Small Deaths" series.

Series: Southwestern and Mexican Photography Series, The Wittliff Collections, The Wittliff Collections at Texas State University; Bill Wittliff, Series Editor

January 2001
This book is out of print and no longer available.
168 pages | 9 7/8 x 10 7/8 | 81 color photos |

Look Inside

Content from "Small Deaths"Content from "Small Deaths"Content from "Small Deaths"Content from "Small Deaths"Content from "Small Deaths"

Small lives end every day—the unfledged bird fallen from its nest, the unwary lizard caught by a cat—as unnoticed in dying as they were living. Deeply moved by these small deaths since her childhood in South Australia, photographer-artist Kate Breakey has been photographing found animal remains since the mid-1990s, creating stunning, oversized, hand-colored images that—paradoxically—glow with life.


This volume is the first book-length work devoted to the photographs of Kate Breakey. It gathers color images from her ongoing "Small Deaths" series. These birds, flowers, lizards, and insects vividly express Breakey's desire to preserve each lost creature—to "freeze it in time, suspend it in space, immortalize it so that its beauty and its death are memorialized." In a brief afterword, Breakey traces the origins of her art to a childhood spent among domestic and rescued animals on the Australian coast. In the introduction, noted art critic A. D. Coleman links Breakey's work to the larger traditions of still-life painting and the postmortem photography of the nineteenth century.



Western Books Exhibition
The Rounce & Coffin Club


Mitchell A. Wilder Award for Excellence in Publication and Media Design
Texas Association of Museums
Southern Book Competition Award of Excellence for Designer Ellen McKie
Southeastern Library Association
Trade Illustrated Award Winner
AAUP Book, Jacket, and Journal Show


Since 1980, Kate Breakey's photography has appeared in over thirty one-woman exhibitions and in over thirty group exhibitions in the United States, Australia, Japan, and France. It is also held in numerous public collections, including the San Diego Museum of Photographic Arts, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Arizona, the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin, the Australian National Gallery, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, and the Art Gallery of South Australia, as well as various private collections. Currently, Kate Breakey lives and works in Tucson, Arizona.