Photograph signed (girl and woman before fireplace)


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Item#: 51568 price:$3,000.00

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ULMANN, Doris. Photograph signed (girl and woman before fireplace). [Brasstown, North Carolina]: circa 1934. Silver photographic print, measuring 8 by 6 inches; handsomely matted and framed, entire piece measures 12-1/2 by 15-1/2 inches. $3000.

Original vintage silver print, signed on the verso by the celebrated photographer, “Doris Ulmann, 1000 Park Ave., N.Y. City.”

“Living on Park Avenue, the cultured and always elegantly attired Ulmann still remained drawn to ordinary people, and by the mid 1920s she had become committed to documenting the lives of Americans who were still following the customs and traditions of a vanishing rural culture… [She] made her last working trip in the summer of 1934, to the Appalachian regions of the western Carolinas… She is now widely recognized as a major pictorial chronicler of American life during the early 20th century” (ANB). This silver print features two of the everyday people for whom Ulmann felt such empathy: a young girl and an older woman seated in front of a fireplace, the girl gazing with affection at the woman who cradles her cheek. This tender study of the contrast between youth and age exemplifies Ulmann’s “profound respect for her sitters and [her] ethnographer’s eye for culture” (University of Oregon), and was part of the Lissi Øland Collection of Doris Ulmann Photographs, which contained photographs Ulmann gave her friends George and Marguerite Butler Bidstrup. The Bidstrups shared Ulmann’s desire to preserve the old ways of Appalachia; Marguerite founded the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, North Carolina “as an alternative to the higher education facilities that drew young people away from the family farm” (Campbell Folk School).

A very nearly fine image, signed by the photographer and handsomely framed.

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