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Imogen Cunningham: A Retrospective

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Seattle Art Museum / Seattle / Art

The American photographer Imogen Cunningham was known for her sensitive touch. Born in Portland, she studied fine art in Dresden before eventually settling in the San Francisco Bay Area. Cunningham worked alongside Maynard Dixon, Edward Weston, and Dorothea Lange, and made intimate portraits and still lifes. In 1910, when she was 27, she spotted a married couple and their child heading to the river for a swim. Paying them to model for her, she took pictures of the three as they undressed and moved naked into the water. When the images were later published, the photographer and her subjects were decried as immoral. But Cunningham kept photographing nudes, her husband among them. Her flower and plant studies, for their innate eros, have been compared to the paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe. In Seattle, 200 works from a seven-decade career comprise this Cunningham retrospective, the first in the U.S. in more than 35 years. —E.C.

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Seattle Art Museum 1300 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101
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