Barbara Morgan Photography

January 26 - May 5, 2013

Barbara Morgan

The Museum's Works on Paper Gallery features a gathering of twenty-two black and white photographs from the 1930s through 1950, documenting her primary subject matter: dancers, portraits, landscapes and photomontages. The images are part of a recent gift/purchase courtesy of William and Leena Kipp of Berks County.

Trained as a painter and printmaker at UCLA, Barbara Morgan (1900 – 1992) took up photography in the 1920s, encouraged, no doubt, by her husband Willard Morgan, who was a photographer and publisher. Many of the photographs, which are vintage prints made during her lifetime, explore the theme of the dance. Morgan came to New York in the 1930s just as Martha Graham was becoming a rising star as a choreographer and dancer. In the mid-thirties, Morgan documented Graham's dance company through a series of photographs, some of which are featured in the exhibition.

Her most famous image, the visually striking Martha Graham: Letter to the World (The Kick) from 1940, is included in the exhibition. Other photographs feature dancers Jose Limon and Doris Humphries. The exhibition also features portraits of fellow photographers Ansel Adams (1942) and Berenice Abbott (1942), and a portrait of architect Le Corbusier (1946).

Image: Barbara Morgan (American, 1900-1992). Martha Graham: Letter to the World (The Kick). 1940, black and white silver print, Gift, William and Leena Kipp, 2012.19.4