The Lightness of Being, 1986

Robert Haft
(American, born 1949)

Location: Island View Elementary, Anacortes


The Lightness of Being is a photograph taken by artist Robert Haft and captures the artist's young son mid-leap next to the shoreline in Cannon Beach, Oregon. This piece is part of the artist's series "The Terrors and Joys of Childhood." Haft describes the moment he took the photograph, noting "I like the way he looked, so small against the immensity of his surroundings. I snapped the shutter just as I saw him give a little leap of joy...It looked as if he has suddenly 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' and was hovering in mid-air."

This artwork was acquired for the State Art Collection in partnership with Anacortes School District.


Northwest photographer Bob Haft creates documentary images that explore the limitations and possibilities of visual and verbal language. Much of his work focuses on the honest depiction of the inner lives and experiences of children.
Haft received a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master of Fine Arts in photography from Washington State University in Pullman, Eastern Washington. Based in Olympia, Washington, Haft teaches at The Evergreen State College.

Material CategoryWork on paper - photograph
MediumGelatin silver print
Dimensions11 in x 14 in
ID NumberWSAC1998.087.000
Acquisition MethodDirect purchase
Artist LocationWashington, United States
Location Information
AgencyAnacortes School District
Artwork LocationIsland View Elementary
Office wall in waiting area
WA CountySkagit
Site TypePublic School
Address2601 J avenue
Anacortes, WA 98221
Geo. Coordinates48.501743 | -122.621540
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