The Herbalist, Probably Louisiana or South Carolina

Doris Ulmannabout 1929 - 1931

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

This woman is identified only as an herbalist. Doris Ulmann posed her here with what appears to be gris-gris, or medicine bags, around her neck; around her waist are several lengths of rags tied with pieces of moss and twigs. With a potted fern and dried leaf on the ledge in front, Ulmann created a kind of occupational portrait, carefully framing the herbalist between the columns of a porch. The woman leans casually and extends a rather large, strong, and masculine-looking hand and forearm forward toward unidentifiable objects on the ledge. With her close-fitting, torn work shirt and wiry, slender build, she is an ambiguous figure, androgynous and possibly of mixed race.

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  • Title: The Herbalist, Probably Louisiana or South Carolina
  • Creator: Doris Ulmann
  • Date: about 1929 - 1931
  • Physical Dimensions: 20.2 x 15.1 cm (7 15/16 x 5 15/16 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Platinum print
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Print
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 87.XM.89.84
  • Markings: Label: Tag attached vo. mat "#1, Herbalist".
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Photographs
  • Culture: American
  • Classification: Photographs