Born 1883 in Portland, USA. One of the most known female American photographer. She was inspired to take up photography by an encounter with the work of Gertrude Käsebier (Later became a member of Photo-Secession). With the advice of from her teacher that scientific knowledge will be essential, she studied chemistry at Washington University and her study abroad in Germany. CUNNINGHAM opened her own studio in 1910 at Seattle, but closed in 1920 to accompany her husband Roi PARTRIDGE teach at Mills College in Oakland, California. By this time her motifs were limited to her family or else a garden green due raising of her three sons and other houseworks. However, it was this time that her style of work has shifted from soft-focus to more solid-focused macro photography, later known as representative "Plant" series and photos of scnenes and buildings of an industrial estate with a unique point of view. Skillfully dealing with light, shape and abstract patterns, CUNNINGHAM became one of the leading pioneers in contemporary photography on the West Coast. In 1932, she was listed in the founding member of f/64, a photography group established by Ansel ADAMS and Edward WESTON, which advocated straight photography on the West Coast. In 1934, CUNNINGHAM begun to work with "Vanity Fair" magazine. She continued to work with them until end of its publication in 1936.
CUNNINGHAM's works are known with series of straight forward portraits, macro photography of flowers and nudes. They are all monochorome works composed with strong contrast of light and shadow, which curves out motif's characteristics and their beauty of shape and abstraction. Her female nude photography is said to be far from sexual interest, expressing a model's character and intimacy and sensuality of the body as seen from the eyes of the same sex.
CUNNINGHAM continued to work energetically until her death at the age of 93, and the project to make a photobook of portraits of people over 90 years old, which she started at the age of 92 was not completed, but it was compiled and published after her death.


"Phoenix Recumbent"

1968 (Printed 1990)
Gelatin silver print (Estate print)
Image size: 48.0×38.0cm
Sheet size: 70.5×55.5cm
Artist name and stamp embossed
Labeled on the rear mount with printer name and printed date



No.344)    Charm of Gelatin Silver Prints VIII    7/19 - 7/30

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