Taryn Simon ’97
photographs things the rest of us will never get to see—like these
capsules containing radioactive cesium and strontium at the Hanford
nuclear-waste storage facility in Washington state. In an interview on Charlie Rose
this spring, Simon said the image’s similarity to the shape of the
United States was what captivated her. Her formal large-format
portraits of curiosities and well-kept secrets are on display at the
Whitney Museum in New York City through June 24; they’ve also been
published as a book, An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar.
Simon writes that the nuclear facility’s 1,936 stainless steel capsules
hold more than 120 million curies of radioactivity—the most under one
roof in the country. Jonathan Schmitt ’98 and Althea Wasow ’96 helped produce and write the book.