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Gertrude Kasebier

Artist
Gertrude Käsebier, 18 May 1852 - 13 Oct 1934
Sitter
Gertrude Käsebier, 18 May 1852 - 13 Oct 1934
Date
1905
Type
Photograph
Medium
Platinum print
Dimensions
Image: 17.5 x 12.2cm (6 7/8 x 4 13/16")
Sheet: 19 x 12.2cm (7 1/2 x 4 13/16")
Mount: 19.8 x 13cm (7 13/16 x 5 1/8")
Mat: 45.7 x 35.6cm (18 x 14")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of Larry J. West
Object number
NPG.2007.81
Exhibition Label
Wearing an antique dress, photographer Gertrude Käsebier pictures herself in this self-portrait as a traditional matron. In the world of fine art photog- raphy, however, Käsebier was hardly a conserva- tive figure. One of the founding members of the Photo-Secession and the first photographer to be profiled in Alfred Stieglitz’s magazine Camera Work, she earned a reputation at the turn of the twentieth century for reimagining the creative possibilities of portrait photography. After raising three children, Käsebier began training to be a painter at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute in 1889, but she decided to pursue photography instead. Less than a decade later, she opened her own professional studio in Manhattan, where she soon attracted many of the leading artistic and literary celebrities of the day. Refusing to employ the painted backdrops and contrived poses used by many portrait photographers, Käsebier adapted
lessons drawn from her study of modern art to craft portraits that were rich in character and psycho- logical insight.
Ataviada con vestido de época, la fotógrafa Gertrude Käsebier se presenta en este autorretrato como una matrona tradicional. Sin embargo, en el mundo de la fotografía de arte, Käsebier no era en absoluto una figura conservadora. Distinguida por reimaginar las posibilidades creativas del retrato fotográfico, Käsebier fue uno de los miembros fundadores del movimiento Photo-Secession y la primera fotó- grafa reseñada en la revista Camera Work de Alfred Stieglitz. En 1889, después de criar tres hijos, comenzó estudios de pintura en el Instituto Pratt de Brooklyn, pero luego decidió dedicarse a la fotografía. En menos de una década abrió su propio estudio profe- sional en Manhattan, donde pronto atrajo a muchas celebridades artísticas y literarias del momento. Käsebier se negaba a emplear los fondos pintados y las poses artificiosas que usaban tantos fotógrafos; en cambio, adaptó lo que había aprendido en sus estudios de arte moderno para lograr retratos de gran temperamento y profundidad psicológica.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection