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Anne Brigman, American, (1869–1950)
The Source, c. 1910
Platinum print
7 1/8 in. x 9 3/8 in. (18.14 cm x 23.88 cm)

Object Type: Photography
Credit Line: Gift of C. Jane Hurley Wilson '64 and Michael G. Wilson, Wilson Centre for Photography, London, UK
Accession Number: 2008.4.6

Anne Brigman, a photographer active in early twentieth century northern California, created "The Source" in 1910. She worked in the pictorialist style, which thrived in the late 1800s and early 1900s and brought a painterly approach to photography. Those who worked with this aesthetic tried to emulate the dramatic and expressive nature of contemporary painting. This approach can be seen as an attempt to garner more recognition from an artistic community that was skeptical of photography as an art form. "The Source" reveals Brigman’s mature style, which depicts modern women whose nude forms correspond with a seemingly primordial environment and dramatic lighting in order to create an emotive effect. In this work, for example, Brigman contrasts the dark surrounding brush with the bright body, as well as the coarse environment with the smooth skin, in order to heighten the drama and expression of the work. By mainly expressing herself through the female form, she was often considered a proto-feminist. Recently receiving more attention, Brigman was considered a leader of several female pictorialist photographers. -Shayda Amanat, '13

Object Description
Woman kneeling in landscape pouring water from a vessel onto the ground. Signed in pencil on mount. Title in ink on reverse

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