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Heritage of Motherhood

Sepia-toned photograph of a light-skinned woman sitting on a hill in a white dress and dark shawl, her hands folded, eyes closed.

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  • Sepia-toned photograph of a light-skinned woman sitting on a hill in a white dress and dark shawl, her hands folded, eyes closed.

Date:

1904

Artist:

Gertrude Käsebier
American, 1852–1934

About this artwork

Although she began making photographs only at age 37, Gertrude Käsebier’s evocative images of marriage and motherhood quickly attracted Alfred Stieglitz, who published five of her first prints in his quarterly journal Camera Work. A founding member of his Photo-Secession movement, Käsebier staged simple, painterly compositions and produced exquisite handmade prints in the Pictorialist tradition. In this portrait, her friend Agnes Lee sits alone before a rocky landscape, grieving the recent death of her daughter. Drawing from her own unhappy marriage and experience as a mother, Käsebier staged a contemporary Lamentation scene, though its abstract title suggests a more universal statement about the trials and sorrows of motherhood.

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Photography and Media

Artist

Gertrude Käsebier

Title

Heritage of Motherhood

Origin

United States

Date

Made 1904

Medium

Platinum print

Inscriptions

Signed recto, on image, lower right, in brown ink: "GERTRUDE KÄSEBIER."; verso unchecked

Dimensions

23 × 29.2 cm (image/paper)

Credit Line

Gift of Mina Turner

Reference Number

1973.6

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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