Cheese and Crackers

Cheese and Crackers


Paul Outerbridge

(American, 1896-1958)

Assembly process color print (three-color carbro process)

Image: 36.6 x 28.6 cm (14 7/16 x 11 1/4 in.); Paper: 41.2 x 33.2 cm (16 1/4 x 13 1/16 in.); Matted: 55.9 x 45.7 cm (22 x 18 in.)

Gift of Mrs. Ralph S. Allen 1942.1165



From his earliest days as a photographer, Outerbridge enjoyed experimenting with the still life, a traditional genre that he believed offered the widest opportunity for creativity. His two images on view here were probably created as ads or editorial layouts for popular magazines. The Kitchen Table has a color bar at the bottom as an aid for printing a reproduction. Outerbridge also exhibited images like this in art museums. His highly ordered, geometric arrangements of objects offered the viewer a calm, ordered world of abundance and enjoyment at a time when hunger and homelessness were afflicting the country. These lifestyles were out of reach for many Americans, but fantasizing while thumbing through a magazine was free.

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