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The Manger

A work made of platinum print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of platinum print.




Gertrude Käsebier
American, 1852–1934

About this artwork

Married and the mother of three children, Gertrude Käsebier took up photography in her forties. She achieved success quickly: in 1898–99 Käsebier exhibited at the elite Philadelphia Photographic Salon, befriended the influential dealer and photographer Alfred Stieglitz, joined the Camera Club of New York, and opened her own studio. This photograph of a Nativity scene bolstered her reputation as a photographer: Stieglitz published it in his early journal Camera Notes and again in the opening issue of Camera Work, in which Käsebier was the featured artist. With its soft focus, rich tonality, deep emotional overtones, and classical source material, The Manger epitomizes the pictorialist aesthetic cultivated by fine art photographers of the period. Käsebier was praised for her heartfelt images of mothers and children, in which she created the appearance of unposed authenticity even with staged subjects. In this tender depiction, the model holds nothing more than a bundle of blankets.


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Photography and Media


Gertrude Käsebier


The Manger


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1899


Platinum print


Unmarked recto; verso unchecked


Image/paper: 33.7 × 24.6 cm (13 5/16 × 9 11/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Mina Turner

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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