Day spent much time among poor immigrant children in Boston, tutoring them in reading and mentoring them. One in particular, the 13-year-old Lebanese immigrant Kahlil Gibran, went on to fame as the author of The Prophet.
|Kahlil Gibran in Middle Eastern costume with leopard skin and staff, seated, ca. 1898, F. Holland Day. 1 photographic print on 2 mounts: platinum print. Forms part of the Louise Imogen Guiney Collection. Anonymous gift to the Library of Congress, 1934.|
Probably his best-known work is an 1898 series of more than 250 photographs portraying the Passion of Christ, in which he posed as Jesus, training for the role by losing weight and letting his hair and beard grow. What is usually shown from this series is the group known as “The Seven Last Words of Christ,” seven portraits that refer to Jesus’ statements from the time of his crucifixion until his death. In each photograph Mr. Day, in character, assumed what he felt were facial expressions consonant with Jesus’ ordeal.
|The Last Seven Words of Christ, 1898, F. Holland Day|