Biography: Imogen Cunningham

Biography: Imogen Cunningham


Imogen Cunningham (April 12, 1883 – June 24, 1976) was an American photographer known for her botanical photography, nudes, and industrial landscapes.

In 1901, having sent away $15 for her first camera, she commenced what would become the longest photographic career in the history of the medium. Cunningham soon turned her attention to both the nude as well as native plant forms in her back garden. The results were staggering; an amazing body of work comprised of bold, contemporary forms. These works are characterized by a visual precision that is not scientific, but which presents the lines and textures of her subjects articulated by natural light and their own gestures.

Her refreshing, yet formal and sensitive floral images from the 1920’s ultimately became her most acclaimed images. Cunningham also had an intuitive command of portraiture but her real artistic legacy was secured though her inclusion in the “F64” show in San Francisco in 1932. With a small group of photographers which included Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, she pioneered the renewal of photography on the West Coast.

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