Skip to Content
Today Open today 11–5

Porch Shadows

A work made of silver-platinum print.
© Paul Strand Archive/Aperture Foundation

Image actions

  • A work made of silver-platinum print.




Paul Strand
American, 1890–1976

About this artwork

Paul Strand spent the summer of 1916 at his family’s cottage in Twin Lakes, Connecticut, attempting to give his understanding of Cubist art—abstraction through fragmentation, multiple points of view, and a reduction of people and objects to basic geometry—a photographic form. Strand made several radical choices in this work: he abandoned the traditional, upright perspective of the photograph; caused the table to appear tipped, as if to suspend its utilitarian function; deployed shadows to create powerful compositional diagonals; and suggested objectivity in the crispness of his negative and print. When Porch Shadows appeared in the final issue of Camera Work, it was a clear signal of a new aesthetic. As Strand wrote, true modernists should avoid all “tricks of process or manipulation” to celebrate photography’s inherent qualities as art.For more on the Alfred Stieglitz collection at the Art Institute, along with in-depth object information, please visit the website: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


Paul Strand


Porch Shadows


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 1916


Silver-platinum print


Signed and inscribed recto, on hinged paper, lower left, below image, in graphite: "Paul Strand 1916"; inscribed verso of print, lower left, in graphite: "7-1944-369"; signed and inscribed verso of print, lower right, in graphite: -"Paul Strand- / -1916-"; inscribed verso, on hinged paper, lower center, in graohite: "Shadows"; verso, on hinged paper, lower right, in graphite: "7-1944-369"


Image: 33.1 × 22.9 cm (13 1/16 × 9 1/16 in.); Paper: 33.7 × 23.4 cm (13 5/16 × 9 1/4 in.); Hinged paper: 43.7 × 32.2 cm (17 1/4 × 12 11/16 in.)

Credit Line

Alfred Stieglitz Collection

Reference Number



© Paul Strand Archive/Aperture Foundation

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.


Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions