1925 (printed 1930s)
Gelatin silver print
Image: 24.2 x 18.7 cm (9 1/2 x 7 3/8 in.); Paper: 25.2 x 20.2 cm (9 15/16 x 7 15/16 in.)
© The Imogen Cunningham Trust
Gift of Diann G. Mann and Thomas A. Mann 2019.23
This work’s metaphorical title refers to an elaborately ornamented, tiered tower of that name at the 1915 San Francisco Panama-Pacific Exposition.
“Because I couldn’t get out anywhere, and I had a garden,” said Cunningham, she photographed her plants every afternoon when her children were napping. These were not picture-postcard views but extreme close-ups that emphasize light and dark contrasts, detail, form, and pattern. Like this iconic image, they were unmanipulated depictions of flora that go beyond botanical detail to suggest abstraction and metaphor.
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