Imogen Cunningham

Imogen Cunningham

A Portrait

Book - 1979
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Publisher: Boston : New York Graphic Society, [1979]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©1979
ISBN: 9780821207512
Branch Call Number: 770.924 C917i
Characteristics: 126 pages, 30 unnumbered leaves of plates : illustrations ; 29 cm


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May 06, 2015

This is a terrific book of impressions of Imogen Cunningham gathered by her friend Judy Dater shortly after Cunningham's death. All three of her sons weigh in as well as their father, who had divorced Cunningham 40 years earlier, and Ansel Adams is generously represented as well. Because the photographer died at 93, the interviews are necessarily skewed towards people who knew her late in life, and how she handled achieving fame at a great age (and her bitterness at not receiving such recognition earlier) is a leitmotif of the book. Most of the interviews are affectionate - and they are not just friends and colleagues but also Cunningham's lawyer, her dealer, etc. - but I may have learned even more from somewhat more critical musings like those of Ann Hershey, who made a documentary film of Cunningham and concluded that she had a hard time being honest with herself. She would let adoring strangers overstay their visits then complain about them afterwards, for instance. A wonderful constellation of stories about a singular personality and a great photographer. The illustrations are not the highest quality, unfortunately, and seem to be in no particular order.


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