[Dead leaf]

Object Details


[Dead leaf]


Man Ray (American, 1890 - 1976)






Gelatin silver print

Object Number:



24.1 × 19.8 cm (9 1/2 × 7 13/16 in.)


© Man Ray Trust ARS-ADAGP

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Remarkable for its starkness, this photograph of a brittle castor bean leaf appeared with four others by Man Ray in the October 1943 issue of Minicam Photography. In his caption for the image, Man Ray wrote with uncharacteristic poignancy of the knowledge that "the dying leaf would be completely gone tomorrow." It is tempting to interpret the melancholy sentiment of the work in terms of the artist's growing discontent concerning his lack of recognition and financial success in Los Angeles and his fear that the work he left behind in France might be destroyed during the war.


Man Ray, American, 1890 - 1976

A Practical Dreamer: The Photographs of Man Ray (October 27, 1998 to October 8, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), October 27, 1998 to January 17, 1999
  • Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), April 2 to June 25, 2000
  • Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto), July 13 to October 8, 2000
Alias Man Ray: The Artfulness of Emmanuel Radnitzky (November 15, 2009 to March 14, 2010)
  • The Jewish Museum (New York), November 15, 2009 to March 14, 2010
In Focus: Still Life (September 7, 2010 to January 23, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 7, 2010 to January 23, 2011

Ray, Man. Man Ray: Photographe, mit einer Einleitung von Jean-Hubert Martin (München: Schirmer/Mosel, 1982), pl. 233 and dicussed p. 132.

Sayag, Alain and Emmanuelle L'Écotais. Man Ray. (Paris: Delpire, 2015), p. 210.