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I’ve swung far from the straight and narrow path of straight photography
October 3, 2011 9:50 AM   Subscribe

(NSFW) In all of my years of work with the lens (since 1906) I've dreamed of and loved to work with the human figure - to embody it in rocks and trees, to make it part of the elements.
The Glory of the Open - Camera Craft - April 1926.
At a time when decent Christian women in the U.S. were expected to be modest and to achieve fulfillment in motherhood, Anne Brigman was trekking up into the mountains in trousers…a scandal in itself…carrying a heavy pack of camera equipment. There she shucked off her pants and societal expectations, and she entered into a pagan world inhabited by dryads and nixies...and there she made art. Anne photographed herself, her sister, and friends using California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains to backdrop a liberated woman decades ahead of her time.
YouTube slideshow. She was championed into the Photo Secession movement by Alfred Stiglietz, and she was the only woman member from west of the Missouri.
posted by adamvasco (20 comments total) 73 users marked this as a favorite

 
These are fantastic. Such a wonderful texture and subtext to them. Thanks so much for posting.
posted by zarq at 9:57 AM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow. Beautiful.
posted by TooFewShoes at 9:58 AM on October 3, 2011


Nice post.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:10 AM on October 3, 2011


Thanks for this.
Viewing these I feel as if I entered Crowley's "Little Big".
posted by incandissonance at 10:31 AM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am fascinated by women like these (Lee Miller is another) who did things back then that were truly transgressive.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 11:12 AM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wonderful images. Thank you.
posted by nickyskye at 11:27 AM on October 3, 2011


Superb post. That Sunday Salon series at UTATA is a fantastic resource for thoughtful introductions to a variety of photographers.
posted by LarryC at 12:12 PM on October 3, 2011


This is what metafilter is for.
posted by the bricabrac man at 12:47 PM on October 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


These are shopped I can tell by the pixels.

(Great post! I hadn't seen Anne Brigman's work before, and I love it.)
posted by theatro at 1:09 PM on October 3, 2011


It's a shame that tasteful nudes are considered NSFW when there are equally nude statues all around DC...

I bring this up every time antique photographs are posted: why do the Getty Museum, NC Times, Yale Visual Resources Collection and others claim copyright on these photographs? They clearly predate 1923 and are unquestionably in the public domain as a result.
posted by autopilot at 4:00 PM on October 3, 2011


Really beautiful. It's as if she was making Prospero's Books 100 years early.
posted by localroger at 4:05 PM on October 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


These are beautiful.

I love that time period and I also love the "weirdos" from that time period. Anne Brigman fits nicely into the list of artists I admire from then.
posted by darksong at 4:47 PM on October 3, 2011


This is great. Thanks.
posted by arse_hat at 4:56 PM on October 3, 2011


Lovely. Thank you.
posted by Allee Katze at 7:57 PM on October 3, 2011


I'm new to her work. Thank you.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:19 PM on October 3, 2011


So gorgeous!

They look like Arthur Rackham woodcuts come to life, particularly from The Ring of the Nibelung.

Flagged for awesome podcast-worthiness.
posted by marsha56 at 8:23 PM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


At a time when decent Christian women in the U.S. were expected to be modest and to achieve fulfillment in motherhood

Commentators and historians in 2111 will be hauling out this same line about the women of this time, and everyone will be oh-so-shocked when sifting through Flickr archives. They're just so modern, so clever, so playful! It's like they're from the future!
posted by tapesonthefloor at 9:48 PM on October 3, 2011


And the photography is beautiful. Thanks for this.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 9:49 PM on October 3, 2011


The 1920's were also the time of the Flappers, so I wouldn't say she was ahead of her time.
posted by cameleon at 2:43 PM on October 4, 2011


Great post, I'm so happy to learn of her.
posted by Cuke at 8:00 PM on October 4, 2011


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