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Celestial Bodies

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Gordon C. Abbott, American, (1882–1951)
Never Never Land #4, (12,000 ft. over Mexico), n. d.
Silver gelatin print on paper
15 1/4 in. x 13 in. (38.74 cm. x 33.02 cm.)


Object Type: Photography
Technique: Black & white photography
Creation Place: North America, USA
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Gordon C. Abbott
Accession Number: PH10


Commentary
Abbott, an American photographer, spent most of his career depicting the cultures and landscapes of Mexico and Guatemala. His work ranged from documentary depictions of the cultures of Central America to abstract, close-up shots of the fauna, transforming the landscape into something strange and exciting. This image combines these two styles. Though it does not have the socially conscious bent of documentary realism, it still feels unaltered, like a landscape photograph for the clouds. At the same time, the clouds evoke an ethereal, metaphoric mood, in line with the sculptural precision that Weston averred. It’s also an exciting celebration of a new technology, flight, and it intimates subtly the potential impact of this invention on humanity, that it will not just change the way we move, but the way we see.

David Kuhio Ahia, PO ’18
Getty Multicultural Undergraduate Intern

Marks
In pencil on verso: "Scripps College Ph10
Gordon C. Abbott
Never Never Land"

Medium
Black and white photograph (bromide print) with front mat attached (with tape)

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