Jan 24, 2008

Doris Humphrey - My Red Fires

Doris Humphrey - My Red Fires


Barbara Morgan

(American, 1900-1992)

Gelatin silver print, toned

Image: 27.3 x 35 cm (10 3/4 x 13 3/4 in.); Mounted: 48.4 x 40.6 cm (19 1/16 x 16 in.); Matted: 55.9 x 66 cm (22 x 26 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2000.19



Sweeping contours and dramatic contrasts of light and shadow powerfully convey the intensity of focus in the pose and expression of dancer Doris Humphrey (1895-1958). The recording of modern dance, which occupied Morgan during the late 1930s and early 1940s, is the most significant achievement of her 50-year career as a photo-grapher. Key to her success in capturing the essential gesture was her extensive knowledge of dance, gained through careful observation. With her camera poised to fuse movement, light, and space, Morgan was able to anticipate and capture the most telling instant. The artist once remarked, "The ecstatic gesture happens swiftly, and is gone."

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