The J. Paul Getty Museum

Dorothy True

Object Details


Dorothy True


Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864 - 1946)




United States (Place Created)




Gelatin silver print

Object Number:



24 × 19.2 cm (9 7/16 × 7 9/16 in.)

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Object Description

This double exposure of the face and leg of Dorothy True constitutes an unusual portrait. Her somewhat somber face, very faint, is not immediately apparent, but slowly a mouth, nose, and eye begin to reveal themselves in the black-stockinged ankle and calf. Alone, the image of the leg is an interesting one; her foot appears veritably stuffed into her stylish, patent leather pump. Her instep bulges out of the top of the shoe, and the leather ripples from the pressure at the toe, making the foot an almost sculptural form.

True appears to step down upon overturned prints or mats. A chair casts a graphic shadow across the floor, and a vertical paper backdrop echoes the black shadow at the upper left, uncovered by the sagging paper. The neat triangle of True's skirt lends additional geometric balance.

Alfred Stieglitz: Seen and Unseen (October 17, 1995 to January 7, 1996)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 17, 1995 to January 7, 1996
Fashion and Transgression (January 29 to April 12, 2003)
  • Fisher Gallery, University of Southern California (Los Angeles), January 29 to April 12, 2003

Frank, Waldo David, ed. America & Alfred Stieglitz; A Collective Portrait, (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1934), pl. xxix.

Bry, Doris. Alfred Stieglitz, Photographer (Boston: Museum of Fine Arts; New York, N.Y.: Distributed by October House, 1965), p. 29.

Emily Lowe Gallery. 11 American Photographers: O'Sullivan, Butcher, Stieglitz, Currier, Weston, Evans, Kertész, Callahan, Frank, Gowin, Michals, exh. cat. (Hempstead, Long Island, N.Y.: Emily Lowe Gallery, Hofstra University, 1972), p. 241.

Norman, Dorothy. Alfred Stieglitz: An American Seer (New York: Random House, 1973), pp. 142-43.

Naef, Weston. Alfred Stieglitz: Seen and Unseen, exh. brochure (Los Angeles: JPGM, 1995), fig. 2.

Greenough, Sarah. Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection of Photographs, Volume One 1886-1922. 2 vols. (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, Washington, 2002), p. 364, pl. 604.