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When she opened her portrait studio in 1897, at age 45, Gertrude Kasebier was determined to introduce more artistic considerations into her photography than had existed in most nineteenth-century portraiture. Such concepts as abstracted areas of light and dark resulting from direct and dramatic lighting techniques caused a stir of dissension among her contemporaries in the commercial field. However, her work was readily accepted and acclaimed by her colleagues in d1e art-photography Pictorialist groups that she was invited to join, both the Linked Ring Brotherhood in London and the Photo-Secession in New York.

In the pictures she made for exhibition, Kasebier's subject matter distinguishes her work from those by other Pictorialists. Women, children, and motherhood, often depicted with metaphorical undercurrents, form the body of her work. Some works bore titles such as Yoked and Muzzled-Marriage, The Bride, and The Heritage of Motherhood, which idealized the figures portrayed. When she specifically identified her subjects, she sought to make "not maps of faces, but pictures of real men and women as they know themselves." This straightforward portrait of Lucille Thomajon presents a woman in an elegantly patterned gown looking with solemn alertness over her shoulder. It is also a masterful example of impressionistic light and shadow to which Kasebier was sensitized by her training as a painter.

Details

  • Title: Lucille Thomajon
  • Creator: Gertrude Käsebier
  • Date Created: c. 1910
  • Physical Dimensions: w15.4 x h18.7 cm (image)
  • Type: Photograph
  • External Link: MFAH
  • Medium: Platinum print
  • Credit Line: The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Sonia and Kaye Marvins Portrait Collection, museum purchase with funds provided by Sonia and Kaye Marvins

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