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Edward Weston, American, (1886–1958)
Ruth St. Denis, 1919
Gelatin silver print on paper
7 in. x 9 9/16 in. (17.78 cm x 24.29 cm)

Object Type: Photography
Technique: Black & white photography
Credit Line: Gift of Mr. Ramiel McGehee
Accession Number: PH3

In his photograph of early modern dancer Ruth St. Denis in a Grecian gown, Weston emphasizes her elegant garments and theatrical pose. Through a horizontal format, Weston focuses upon St. Denis’s flowing gown, which recalls the flying drapery of ancient statues. St. Denis’s frontal torso and profile head further emphasize the gracefully trailing gown. Her directed gaze, extended arms, and stylized hands add a sense of theatricality. Through her fluid garments and balletic pose, Weston represents St. Denis as a graceful, picturesque icon. The floral pattern on St. Denis’s gown connects her with her surroundings through the design behind her. This setting resembles a stage set, thereby reinforcing the theatrical nature of the work. Weston, whether photographing St. Denis in Grecian or geisha attire, represents the renowned dancer as feminine, elegant, and theatrical. Ashley Newton ’10 Wilson Intern 2009

Photo: 6.75 x 9.5 in
Paper: 11.5 x 13.5 in

"American Photography, 1920-1945", Lang Gallery, 11/6/88-12/18/88
"American Photography of the 20th Century", Mt. St. Mary's College, 2/9/76-3/21/76

In pencil, lower edge of recto: "Weston, Edward SC Ph3"
In pencil, verso: "courtesy - Ramiel McGehee
Return to: Carlos Dyer, 125 N. Catalina, Redondo Beach, Cal."

Light black and white photograph (platinum print) mounted onto off-white paper.

Object Description
One in a series of photographs of St. Denis taken by Weston, this image presents the actress as a delicate and picturesque icon. Weston's work before 1920 often features both a soft focus and a neo-romantic style, which was the dominant mode of photography at the time. Very few of his exhibited prints from this period still exist.

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