When Adrien Broom first visited the former Long Island home of Jackson Pollock and his wife, the painter Lee Krasner , she was transfixed by the splattered floorboards in Pollock’s studio, a relic of the modernist’s signature technique. “You see the borders of some of the most famous works to come out of America,” Broom says, “and they all merge together to create something so special that is only in this one place.” Conjuring such moments for her photography series Holding Space , Broom recruits actors to imagine life in richly suggestive historic dwellings, such as those of Mark Twain, the arts patron Florence Griswold and the photographer Alice Austen. Seeing their quotidian belongings humanizes their one-time occupants. “These people have become legendary—godlike,” she says. “But here is a bedroom with a tiny little bed, and this is their bathroom! It’s inspirational because they created wonderful work, but they were still just people.”

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