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Baron Adolph de Meyer, 1 Sep 1868 - 6 Jan 1946
Gertrude Käsebier, 18 May 1852 - 13 Oct 1934
Gum platinum print
Image: 21.8 x 17.6 cm (8 9/16 x 6 15/16")
Sheet: 26 × 19.4 cm (10 1/4 × 7 5/8")
Mat: 55.9 × 40.6 cm (22 × 16")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
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Born Des Moines, Iowa
Gertrude Käsebier, one of the founding members of the Photo-Secession and the first photographer to be profiled in Alfred Stieglitz’s Camera Work, earned a reputation at the turn of the twentieth century for reimagining the creative possibilities of portrait photography. Käsebier trained to be a painter at Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute but decided to pursue photography instead. Although she was married with three children, she opened a professional studio in Manhattan, where she soon attracted many of the day’s leading artistic and literary celebrities. Refusing to use the painted backdrops and contrived poses that many portrait photographers employed, Käsebier adapted lessons from her study of modern art to craft portraits that were rich in character and psychological insight.