From the 1970s until his death in 1989, photographer Ted Spagna used time-lapse photography to produce a series of images that captured people as they sleep. An exploration of intimacy poised at the intersection of art and scientific observation, these somehow avoid sinister voyeurism and instead constitute a sensual examination of human vulnerability. A new book, Sleep, available this September from Rizzoli New York chronicles the photographer’s career. This August, Ted Spagna’s nephew, Ron Eldridge, and his goddaughter, Delia Bonfilio, will open Sleep Snapshots, “a photography studio offering sleep portraits.”

Billy & Anita 1980

Seymour 1979

Ann ca. 1980

Vincent ca. 1985

Rob & Patty ca. 1985

Chick ca. 1980

Wave of Sleep (details) ca. 1980

Man & Dog 1980

Images courtesy of George Eastman House and the Estate of Ted Spagna