Born in 1883, working as a photographer until her death in 1976, Imogen Cunningham carved not just a place in American art but a channel across the century. She was the mother of photography’s Modernist movement, and the mentor of other giants in her own generation and the next.
This exhibition is by far the largest and richest retrospective of her life’s work to be seen in New York since her Metropolitan Museum exhibition in 1973. It may very well be the most comprehensive exhibition of her works, of all time.
Vintage photographs by Imogen Cunningham are fascinating, often momentous, and always rare. As a hard-working, self-supporting artist and single mother, she made few prints for inventory, nor did she give much away. Through her children and grandchildren, their families, and the Imogen Cunningham Trust—and after two years of study and evaluation—this offering includes almost 200 items, with superb examples of her flowers and botanicals, modernist studies, nudes and still lifes, portraits, street photographs, and intimate images Imogen made of herself and her family.
This is the largest collection of vintage Cunningham photographs available since her own lifetime. From the collection, we have selected 70 prints for our exhibition. They provide an unprecedented opportunity to trace the arc of Imogen’s life, the 70-year career of genius and innovation, of one of the greatest photographers of all time.