Imogen Cunningham  (American, 1883-1976) 

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Imogen Cunningham (American, 1883–1976) was a photographer born in Portland, OR. She attended the University of Washington in Seattle, where she developed an interest in photography, and was inspired by the work of Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864–1946) and Gertrude Käsebier (American, 1852–1934). Cunningham worked as a professional photo-technician at the Edward Curtis Studio from 1907 until 1909, and earned a scholarship to study at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden. There, she worked with Robert Luther and studied art history, life drawing, and platinum printing from 1909 until 1910. Cunningham returned to Seattle upon completing her studies, and started her own portrait studio.

In addition to commercial portraiture, Cunningham created a series of Symbolist works, inspired by the writing of William Morris, that depict her friends dressed as mythical figures in outdoor settings. In 1917, she moved to San Francisco and began working with Francis Joseph Bruguière (American, 1879–1945). By the 1920s, she was most interested in photographing details of natural forms, plants, and animals, and was experimenting with double exposures and light abstraction. For a short time during the early 1930s, Cunningham worked as a photographer for Vanity Fair in New York, before returning to California. In addition to her artistic achievements, Cunningham was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and an honorary doctorate degree by the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. Her photographs have been displayed at the Dallas Art Museum, the E. B. Crocker Art Gallery in Sacramento, CA, and the Witkin Gallery in New York City, among many other venues.

Find Imogen Cunningham artworks for sale worldwide, artworks that sold at auction, a detailed biography, and more information on the artist below.
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Imogen Cunningham, St. Germain, Paris

 

Imogen Cunningham
St. Germain, Paris
1960

G. Gibson Gallery
Imogen Cunningham, Alfred Stieglitz

 

Imogen Cunningham
Alfred Stieglitz
1934

G. Gibson Gallery
Imogen Cunningham, Portrait of Helena Mayer, Fencer

 

Imogen Cunningham
Portrait of Helena Mayer, Fencer
1935

Michael Shapiro Photographs
Imogen Cunningham, Two Callas

 

Imogen Cunningham
Two Callas
Weston Gallery, Inc.
Imogen Cunningham, Triangles

 

Imogen Cunningham
Triangles
1928

Russell Tether Fine Art
Imogen Cunningham, Weaving

 

Imogen Cunningham
Weaving
Weston Gallery, Inc.
Imogen Cunningham, Calla

 

Imogen Cunningham
Calla
1925

Anne Reed Gallery
Imogen Cunningham, Alta on the Beach

 

Imogen Cunningham
Alta on the Beach
circa 1930

Scott Nichols Gallery
Imogen Cunningham, Kearny Street Newsboy

 

Imogen Cunningham
Kearny Street Newsboy
circa 1940

G. Gibson Gallery
Past auction results (759)  View All
Imogen Cunningham, Magnolia Blossom

 

Imogen Cunningham
Magnolia Blossom, 1925
gelatin silver print, mntd

 

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Imogen Cunningham, Age and Its Symbols

 

Imogen Cunningham
Age and Its Symbols, 1958
gelatin silver print, mntd

 

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Imogen Cunningham, Magnolia Blossom

 

Imogen Cunningham
Magnolia Blossom, 1925
gelatin silver print, mntd

 

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1883   Born in Portland, OR
1903 - 1907   Studied chemistry at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA
1907   Worked as a phototechnician in the studio of Edward Curtis, Seattle, WA
1909 - 1910   Studied at the Technische Hochschule on a graduate scholarship, Dresden, Germany
1910   Established her own portrait studio in Seattle, WA
1932   Joined the West coast photographers known as Group f.64, which included Ansel Adams, Henry Swift, and Edward Weston
1947   Instructor, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
1967   Elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences
1968   Recipient, Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, CA
1970   Recipient, Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship
1973   Recipient, Artist of the Year, San Francisco Art Commission, San Francisco, CA
1976   Died in San Francisco, CA
2009 - 2010   Everything Under the Sun: Photographs by Imogen Cunningham, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA (solo)
2003   Natural Inspiration, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (solo)
2002   Imogen Cunningham: Her Family and Friends, Jan Kesner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
1999   Imogen Cunningham: Pictorialism - Modernism, Jan Kesner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
1998   Imogen Cunningham, Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, GA (solo)
1994   Imogen Cunningham: Magical Realism, Jan Kesner Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1993   Die Poesie der Form, Fotografie Forum international, Frankfurt, Germany
1991   Imogen Cunningham, Hasselblad Center, Göteborg, Sweden (solo)
1983   The Photographs of Imogen Cunningham: A Centennial Selection, Blaffer Gallery, The Art Museum of the University of Houston, Houston, TX and Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA (solo)
Imogen Cunningham: A 75-Year Photographic Survey, Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver, Canada (solo)
1974   Imogen, Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA (solo)
1973   Imogen Cunningham, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (solo)
Witkin Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1972   Group f.64 Exhibition, Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA
1970   Witkin Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1964   Photographs by Imogen Cunningham, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL (solo)
1941   Golden Gate International Exposition, Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA
1936   E. B. Crocker Art Gallery, Sacramento, CA (solo)
1935   Dallas Art Museum, Dallas, TX (solo)
1932   Group f.64 Exhibition, M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, CA
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
1931   M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, CA
1929   Film and Foto Exhibtion, Stuttgart, Germany
Berkeley Art Museum, Berkeley, CA
1921   Pictorial Photographic Society Exhibition, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, CA
1914   Brooklyn Institute of Arts and Sciences, Brooklyn, NY (solo)
  The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, MI
  Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
  Oakland Museum of California, Oakland, CA
  Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, OK
  San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
  Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA
  Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
  The National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan
  National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
2001    Taschen, Angelika. Imogen Cunningham 1883 - 1976. New York: Taschen, 2001.