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Transcript of Imogen Cunningham
Some of Her Work...
Critique of Imogen's Work
Imogen's Early Life
Imogen was born on April 12 in Portland, Oregon in the year 1883. She was named by her dad after Shakespeare's Cymbeline
Her parents were Isaac and Susan Elizabeth Cunningham. She was one of 10 children.
She grew up in Seattle, Washington and was home schooled until age 8.
Imogen was interested in Art and Photography as a child, but neither of these could her family afford.
Imogens father ran a coal and wood retail business.
Imogen died June 24, 1976 in San Fransico, CA
Training & Education
Imogen went to Washington University, where she was advised by her professor to major in Chemistry because in the long run it would help to have scientific background for photography.
Examples of Work
Examples of Work
Publications of Artwork
The first thesis Imogen created in Germany was published there, and discussed her opinion of using hand-coated paper for platinum prints.
Her first publication of her work was her one person exhibition that was held at the Brooklyn Institute of Arts & Sciences.
After having her three kids she was named in the Pictorial Photographic Society Exhibition at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.
She took on the assignment of photographing the Adolph Bohm ballet Intime.
Imogen's first double exposure photo was of her mother with a "crown of silver spoons".
Ten photos were published in the Film and Foto Exhibition in Stuggart, Germany, as well as an Exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum and, one in the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum.
After photographing the dancer Martha Graham, where the photos appeared in Vanity Fair Magazine, she was asked to join the Group f.64 while she also photographed Hollywood personalities.
After moving to Seattle Imogen created a one person exhibition in Dallas, another in Sacramento, and San Francisco.
For the next 13 years her street work was exhibited across the country.
The International Museum of Photography, at George Eastman House in Rochester, New York purchased a large portion of her work, and was elected a "Fellow of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences".
Lastly, The University of Washington Press published her first book, “Imogen Cunningham: Photographs.” A major exhibition was held at the Witkin Gallery in New York City.
Reflection on Process
After College, Imogen worked for photograpaher Edward S. Curtis in his print shop.
She then decided to travel to Germany to further her studies in Photography with the help of her sorority.
I created examples of the type of nature and botanical photographs she did. Once I took the images outside I edited the hue/saturation, etc. on Photoshop to get as close to colors and shadows that Imogen had.
Re-creating Imogens work was not hard for me. Her images of nature and most commonly plants, were very easy to create myself. While walking downtown, through the park, or on the east side I looked for plants and flowers that were similar to hers. She has a lot of images that have uniquely shaped plants or leaves so I found some as well. Her style was to make all of her photos black and white, so I used Photoshop to edit the contrast and brightness on my selected pictures. I liked photographing plants for this assignment because I have enjoyed doing that thus far in the semester for fun on my own while shooting.
While viewing Imogens work, I noticed her use of Shadows and Contrast in her botanical images Almost always in the pictures of plants she uses a dark contrast between the black and white of the image and or has one light source from one side to make a noticeable shadow. With pictures in Landscapes she would focus on the shape of the image and would photograph to emphasize it.
As well as botanicals and landscapes, Imogen photographed people in portraits. Not only did she do traditional she also photographed nude. When she did this type of work she would zoom in and emphasize one body part quite often.
Overall in her work Imogen used great deals of contrast and shadow in her images. She also emphasized shape of objects and the body. In all of Imogen's work you can see the use of black and white.
April 1883 - June 1976