Call for Entries - All About Photo Awards 2020

Imogen Cunningham

Country: United States | Born: 1883 - Died: 1976

Imogen Cunningham is renowned as one of the greatest American women photographers. In 1901, having sent away $15 for her first camera, she commenced what would become the longest photographic career in the history of the medium.. Cunningham soon turned her attention to both the nude as well as native plant forms in her back garden. The results were staggering; an amazing body of work comprised of bold, contemporary forms. These works are characterized by a visual precision that is not scientific, but which presents the lines and textures of her subjects articulated by natural light and their own gestures. Her refreshing, yet formal and sensitive floral images from the 1920’s ultimately became her most acclaimed images. Cunningham also had an intuitive command of portraiture but her real artistic legacy was secured though her inclusion in the "F64" show in San Francisco in 1932. With a small group of photographers which included Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, she pioneered the renewal of photography on the West Coast. Awarded a Guggenheim fellowship, Cunningham’s work continues to be exhibited and collected around the world.

Source: Photography West Gallery


Cunningham was born in Portland, Oregon, in 1883. In 1901, at the age of eighteen, Cunningham bought her first camera, a 4x5 inch view camera, from the American School of Art in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She soon lost interest and sold the camera to a friend. It wasn’t until 1906, while studying at the University of Washington in Seattle, that she was inspired by an encounter with the work of Gertrude Käsebier, to take up photography again. With the help of her chemistry professor, Dr. Horace Byers, she began to study the chemistry behind photography and she subsidized her tuition by photographing plants for the botany department. After being graduated in 1907 Cunningham went to work for Edward S. Curtis in his Seattle studio, gaining knowledge about the portrait business and practical photography.

In 1909, Cunningham won a scholarship from her sorority (Pi Beta Phi) for foreign study and applied to study with Professor Robert Luther at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden, Germany. In Dresden she concentrated on her studies and didn’t take many photographs. In May 1910 she finished her paper, “About the Direct Development of Platinum Paper for Brown Tones,” describing her process to increase printing speed, improve clarity of highlights tones, and produce sepia tones. On her way back to Seattle she met Alvin Langdon Coburn in London, and Alfred Stieglitz and Gertrude Käsebier in New York. In Seattle, Cunningham opened her studio and won acclaim for portraiture and pictorial work. Most of her studio work of this time consisted of sitters in their own homes, in her living room, or in the woods surrounding Cunningham's cottage. She became a sought after photographer and exhibited at the Brooklyn Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1913.

In 1914, Cunningham's portraits were shown at An International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography in New York. Wilson's Photographic Magazine published a portfolio of her work. The next year, she married Roi Partridge, a teacher and artist. He posed for a series of nude photographs, which were shown by the Seattle Fine Arts Society. Although critically praised, Cunningham didn’t revisit those photographs for another fifty-five years. Between 1915 and 1920, Cunningham continued her work and had three children (Gryffyd, Rondal, and Padraic) with Partridge. In 1920, they moved to San Francisco where Partridge taught at Mills College. Cunningham refined her style, taking a greater interest in pattern and detail and becoming increasingly interested in botanical photography, especially flowers. Between 1923 and 1925 she carried out an in-depth study of the magnolia flower. Later in the decade she turned her attention toward industry, creating several series of industrial landscapes in Los Angeles and Oakland. In 1929, Edward Weston nominated 10 of Cunningham's photographs (8 botanical, 1 industrial, and 1 nude) for inclusion in the "Film und Foto" exhibition and her renowned, Two Callas, debuted in that exhibition. Cunningham once again changed direction, becoming more interested in the human form, particularly hands, and she was fascinated with the hands of artists and musicians. This interest led to her employment by Vanity Fair, photographing stars without make-up.

In 1932, with this unsentimental, straightforward approach in mind, Cunningham became one of the co-founders of the Group f/64, which aimed to “define photography as an art form by a simple and direct presentation through purely photographic methods.” In 1934, Cunningham was invited to do some work in New York for Vanity Fair. Her husband wanted her to wait until he could travel with her, but she refused. They later divorced. She continued with Vanity Fair until it stopped publication in 1936. In the 1940s, Cunningham turned to documentary street photography, which she executed as a side project while supporting herself with her commercial and studio photography. In 1945, Cunningham was invited by Ansel Adams to accept a position as a faculty member for the art photography department at the California School of Fine Arts. Dorothea Lange and Minor White joined as well. In 1973, her work was exhibited at the Rencontres d'Arles festival in France through the group exhibition: Trois photographes américaines, Imogen Cunningham, Linda Connor, Judy Dater. Cunningham continued to take photographs until shortly before her death at age ninety-three on June 24, 1976, in San Francisco, California.

Source: Wikipedia

Imogen Cunningham
Author: Celina Lunsford, Jamie Allen, Marisa Sánchez and Imogen Cunningham
Publisher: TF Editores/D.A.P.
Year: 2013 - Pages: 262
Throughout her long life, Imogen Cunningham was tireless and exemplary in her pursuit of new developments in photography and in the expansion of her own practice. An inspiration to several successive generations, she reinvented the genres of botanical photography, street photography, nudes and portraiture, and expanded the possibilities of the double exposure. This publication celebrates the rich diversity of this modernist pioneer, covering Cunningham's entire seven-decade career--from her abstract shots of plants and nudes and optical illusions created using techniques such as inverted positive/negative images and double exposure, to her iconic portraits for Vanity Fair of artists, dancers, actors, musicians and writers such as Man Ray, Alfred Stieglitz, Martha Graham, Frida Kahlo, Gertrude Stein, Morris Graves and Merce Cunningham. The selection also includes many rarely reproduced works, plus essays by Celina Lunsford, curator of the exhibition, Jamie M. Allen and Marisa C. Sánchez, an illustrated chronology and selected bibliography.
 
Imogen Cunningham 1883 - 1976
Author: Richard Lorenz, Manfred Heiting
Publisher: Taschen
Year: 2001 - Pages: 256
This title collects the best of photographer Imogen Cunningham's work. Spanning all the genres used in her work, the book presents the images which marked Cunningham as one of the early pioneers of the photographic medium from her 1920's plant images to her speciality, portraiture.
 
Photo LA
Sponsored Link
 

More Great Photographers To Discover

Sarah Moon
Nationality: France
Born: 1941

A fashion and commercial photographer since 1968, and also a filmmaker, Sarah Moon is known for her dreamlike images and her representation of femininity as free from time and context, as living in a fairy world. Although Moon has been a major participant in the world of fashion for more than three decades, she has carefully carved out her own niche -- a signature style that dispenses with the erotically suggestive poses favored by many of her male counterparts in (…)
 
Aline Smithson
Nationality: United States
After a career as a New York Fashion Editor and working along side the greats of fashion photography, Aline Smithson discovered the family Rolleiflex and never looked back. An artist now represented by galleries in the U.S. and Europe and published throughout the world, Aline continues to create her award-winning photography with humor, compassion, and a 50-year-old camera.

She has exhibited widely including solo shows at the Griffin Museum of Photography, the (…)
Aline Smithson
Aline Smithson
Aline Smithson
Aline Smithson
Aline Smithson
Aline Smithson
Aline Smithson
Aline Smithson
 
Didier Massard
Nationality: France
Born: 1953
Twenty years ago I was involved in traditional landscape photography. There were many places in the world that I wished to visit and photograph, but I realized that they would not match my perception of them. Reality was different from imagination. This disillusionment inspired me to create my own indoor landscapes-to fabricate dioramas and to photograph in a studio what I had in mind.

Over the years I have developed my secret and still theater, always in the same (…)
Didier Massard
Didier Massard
Didier Massard
Didier Massard
Didier Massard
Didier Massard
Didier Massard
Didier Massard
 
Eadweard Muybridge
Nationality: United Kingdom
Born: 1830 - Died: 1904

Eadweard James Muybridge was an English photographer important for his pioneering work in photographic studies of motion and in motion-picture projection. He adopted the name Eadweard Muybridge, believing it to be the original Anglo-Saxon form of his name. He immigrated to the United States as a young man but remained obscure until 1868, when his large photographs of Yosemite Valley, California, made him world famous. Muybridge is known for his pioneering work on animal (…)
Eadweard Muybridge
Eadweard Muybridge
Eadweard Muybridge
Eadweard Muybridge
Eadweard Muybridge
Eadweard Muybridge
Eadweard Muybridge
Eadweard Muybridge
 
Nelli Palomäki
Nationality: Finland
Born: 1981

Nelli Palomäki was born 1981 in Forssa, Finland. At the moment she lives and works in Karkkila and Helsinki, Finland. Her timeless portraits of children and young people reveal the fragility of the moment shared with her subject. Palomäki’s photographs deal with the growth, memory and our problematic way of seeing ourselves. One of the crucial themes in her portraiture is our mortality. She describes: “We fight against our mortality, denying it, yet photographs are (…)
Nelli Palomäki
Nelli Palomäki
Nelli Palomäki
Nelli Palomäki
Nelli Palomäki
Nelli Palomäki
Nelli Palomäki
Nelli Palomäki
 
Thomas Wilder
Nationality: United States
Born: 1996
Through his practice in digital photography and site specific installation, Thomas asks questions of perception, meaning-making, attention, the photographic image, and the particularity of space. Influenced most strongly by conceptual artists of the 70s and 80s, Thomas looks to make work that accompanies a broader philosophical conversation. Thomas recently graduated with a BA in Studio Art from Wheaton College, IL; he is now pursuing an MFA in photography at Rhode Island (…)
Thomas Wilder
Thomas Wilder
Thomas Wilder
Thomas Wilder
Thomas Wilder
Thomas Wilder
Thomas Wilder
Thomas Wilder
 
James Tye
Nationality: United Kingdom
Born: 1971
Having been a keen snapper from an early age, James has had the good fortune to work for clients in the UK and abroad, shooting magazine articles, travel guides and corporate work. Recent assignments have taken him to Asia and the US from where these submissions were shot. This career has provided him with an opportunity to indulge his creative passion, explore the world and amass a large collection of fridge magnets.

Statement
<(…)
James Tye
James Tye
James Tye
James Tye
James Tye
James Tye
James Tye
James Tye
 
Kamil Vojnar
Nationality: Czech Republic
Born: 1962

Kamil Vojnar was born in the former Czechoslovakia in 1962. He studied at the School of Graphic Arts in Prague and began his career as a Graphic Designer. He left the country illegally (still Communist at the time) and moved to Vienna, and then eventually became a US citizen and finished his studies at the Art Institute of Philadelphia. He continued his career in Graphic Design which later led to illustration and imagery based on photography, working mostly for book and (…)

Kamil Vojnar
Kamil Vojnar
Kamil Vojnar
Kamil Vojnar
Kamil Vojnar
Kamil Vojnar
Kamil Vojnar
Kamil Vojnar
 
David Goldblatt
Nationality: South Africa
Born: 1930 - Died: 2018

David Goldblatt was born in 1930 in Randfontein, South Africa. He has photographed the structures, people and landscapes of his country since 1948. In 1989, Goldblatt founded the Market Photography Workshop in Johannesburg. In 1998 he was the first South African to be given a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2001, a retrospective of his work, David Goldblatt Fifty-One Years began a tour of galleries and museums.

He was one of the (…)
 
Mo Verlaan
Nationality: Netherlands
Born: 1963

"After graduating from the Rietvelt Art Academy in Amsterdam, I started out in experimental theatre, creating sets on location as well as performing. In 1993, I founded De Drie Gezusters with my sisters catering to (inter)national film crews on location from a converted truck. Eight years ago, my love for photography made me enter the Photo Academy. The book and series titled Resonance was part of my graduation in 2016. In these photographs my fascination with light (…)
Mo Verlaan
Mo Verlaan
Mo Verlaan
Mo Verlaan
Mo Verlaan
Mo Verlaan
Mo Verlaan
Mo Verlaan
 
Photo LA
Sponsored Link
Join our newsletter
Be up-to-date with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events
 
Photo Contest - All About Photo Awards 2020
 
Discover the Latest Issue of AAP Magazine
All About Photo Magazine showcases the winners of AAP Magazine Competitions
 
 
 
David Bailey: SUMO
Sponsored Link
 
Explore All About Photo