National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Rebecca Paul Strand (artist)
American, 1890 - 1976
Rebecca, 1922
platinum print
overall: 24.4 x 19.4 cm (9 5/8 x 7 5/8 in.)
Southwestern Bell Corporation Paul Strand Collection
1991.216.6
Not on View
From the Tour: Modern Portraits in Photography
Object 2 of 13

Paul Strand (1890–1976) first studied photography with Lewis Hine (1874–1940), a teacher at the Ethical Culture School in New York who used the camera as a means to document the disadvantaged and effect social reforms on their behalf. Hine's photographs of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, taken in 1904, included sympathetic, individuated portraits of these otherwise anonymous and impoverished newcomers to American society. Strand refined his own photographic technique in the following years, taking inspiration from the exhibitions at Alfred Stieglitz's Gallery "291," and from 1915 through contact with Stieglitz himself.

In 1922 Strand married Rebecca Salsbury (1891–1968), a self-taught artist who was friendly with Stieglitz as well. One year earlier, Stieglitz had exhibited a large group of his portrait studies of O'Keeffe, including many of her nude, placing them boldly in counterpoint to his more conventional portraits of male friends and colleagues. The open sensuality of Stieglitz's work with O'Keeffe clearly influenced Strand, who used his habitual emphasis on deep, warm print tones to accentuate an impression of frank intimacy between photographer and sitter.

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