Magnolia Blossom, 1925
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection, gift of the Annenberg Foundation, acquired from Carol Vernon and Robert Turbin (M.2008.40.509)
Gelatin silver print, 9 ¼ x 11 in.
“Nature as art,” both as a pure experience of nature and as a study in pure design, is embodied in this picture by photographer Imogen Cunningham. The close, tightly cropped composition serves to enhance the intimacy of being enfolded within the magnolia petals. The work also turns our focus inward—as a study in form, tone, and texture. Cunningham was part of an important group of West Coast photographers who shifted from a soft-focus style to a sharp-focus, abstract sensibility known as modernism.