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The Heart of the Storm
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Status undetermined
Gift of the Michael and Jane Wilson Collection

Anne W. Brigman
American, California, negative 1902, print 1914
Gelatin silver, toned or gelatin silver bromide
9 11/16 x 7 3/4 in.
94.XM.111

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The guardian angel figure, hand upraised as if in blessing, consoles the cowering woman within a protective stand of California western juniper trees. Their faces obscured, the women portray archetypes rather than individuals. Trees tortured by lightning and twisted by the winds recur in Anne Brigman's work, symbolizing independence and an adaptation to life's adversity.

In order to achieve a sense of atmosphere appropriate to the scene, Brigman altered her negative by hand, drawing and scratching lines onto the negative before printing. She created the halo above the figure's head at left and the sweep of lines meant to appear as a translucent, windblown garment on the figure at the right.