The Manger (Ideal Motherhood)

Object Details

Title:

The Manger (Ideal Motherhood)

Artist/Maker:

Gertrude Käsebier (American, 1852 - 1934)

Culture:

American

Place:

Newport, Rhode Island, United States (Place created)

Date:

1899

Medium:

Platinum print

Dimensions:

32.5 x 23.7 cm (12 13/16 x 9 5/16 in.)

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On the vanguard of American Pictorialism, a movement that sought to elevate photography's status by emulating painting, Käsebier believed the medium to be a means of self-expression. Her shadowy portrait of a mother and child set against the simple geometry of a stable stall demonstrates her sense of design as well as her reverence for maternity. With a transparent veil and classical draperies, she transformed an ordinary woman into the archetypal Madonna of religious painting. The atmospheric contrast of light and shadow, soft focus, and the velvety surface of the platinum print heighten the painterly effect.

Exhibitions
After the Manner of Women: Photographs by Käsebier, Cunningham, and Ulmann (September 6 to December 31, 1988)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), September 6 to December 31, 1988
Photographers of Genius (March 16 to July 25, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 16 to July 25, 2004
In Focus: Making a Scene (June 30 to October 18, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 30 to October 18, 2009
Convergences: Selected Photographs from the Permanent Collection (July 8 to October 19, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 8 to October 19, 2014