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Glacial Lily (False Hellebore), 1927 (printed 1971)

Imogen Cunningham

American, 1883-1976
Gelatin silver print
Image: 9-3/8 x 8-1/2 in. (23.8 x 21.6 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of the Artist to the Blue Four Galka Scheyer Collection
© 2008 Imogen Cunningham Trust

Not on view

Cunningham took her first photograph in 1901, beginning one of the longest careers in photographic history. She worked for nearly eight decades and continued to make photographs until shortly before her death in 1976. One critic noted, "Cunningham's career spanned the entire history of photography as an art. When she began, photography was doing its best to imitate painting. She was one of the leaders that insisted photography had its own aesthetic, its own value and its own meaning." Cunningham is best known for the highly original series of sharply focused botanical forms that she produced in the 1920s. These immaculately lit, bold close-ups of plants and flowers yield images that are near abstract.

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