Photography // Imogen Cunningham
Updated: Jan 22
The first time that I saw Imogen's work, was because she had a serie of a Magnolia Grandflora, my favorite favorite one. Usually when my clients doesn't know witch flower tattoo, I always suggest that one.
The most species of plants on Earth have flowers, the evolutionary origin of flowers themselves are shrouded in mystery. Flowers are the sexual organs of more than 360,000 species of plants alive today, all derived from a single common ancestor in the distant past. This ancestral plant, alive sometime between 250m and 140m years ago, produced the first flowers at a time when the planet was warmer, and richer in oxygen and greenhouse gases than today. But the first flowers left no traces. Flowers are fragile structures that only in the luckiest of circumstances can be transformed into fossils.
In some respects, the original flower resembles a modern magnolia: it has multiple, undifferentiated “petals” , arranged in concentric rings. At its centre there are multiple rows of sexual organs (bissexual reproduce system) including pollen-producing stamens and ovule-bearing ovaries.
But yet, the first Magnolias family is quite old and has survived many geological events (such as ice ages, mountain formation, and continental drift), its distribution has become scattered. Some species or groups of species have been isolated for a long time, while others could stay in close contact. - an awesome flower, hã? - Back to Imogen!
Imogen Cunningham was born in Portland, Oregon in 1883. She grew up in Seattle, Washington and attended the University of Washington in Seattle, majoring in chemistry after she was advised by her professor that she should have a scientific background if she wanted to be a photographer. To pay her expenses she worked as a secretary to her chemistry professor and made slides for the botanists.
Not only is Imogen Cunningham known for her photographs, she is also remembered by her family and friends as an ‘independent spirit’. In the numerous accounts of her life, she is often referred to as “acidic”. Ansel Adams is quoted as to saying, “I used to say that Imogen’s blood was three percent acetic acid. She seemed to have an acid reaction to so many things, and she could be very abrupt. But she had another side too.”
She Published "Photography as a Profession for Women,” an article urging women to take up careers in the professions. not to outdo men, but to try to do something for themselves.
Imogen Cunningham accepted her first commercial assignment after the birth of the twins to photograph the Adolph Bohm Ballet Intime. She also began to make her first sharp focus plant photographs.
During the next thirteen years her work was exhibited across the country and she continued her street photography work when she was not making portraits, using the money of her exhibits to travel and photograph in both Western and Eastern Europe. Imogen experimented with Polaroid film.
Imogen passed away on June 23, 1976, at the age of 93.
Imogen, thank u for yr existence <3
official website : https://www.imogencunningham.com