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White Chrysanthemums
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George Henry Seeley
American, 1914
Gum bichromate print
17 9/16 x 21 3/16 in.
84.XP.462.3

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Four chrysanthemum blossoms laid upon a table cast deep, black shadows, indicating a light source slightly above and to the left. Behind them a glass bowl barely reveals its own shape while picking up flecks of light and indeterminate shapes from the room. The murky sphere softly mirrors the blossoms' reflection and transmits the foreground light to enrich the image with depth. As subtle as a hum or whisper, this evocative and simple still life quietly resonates in George Seeley's photograph. The subdued tones and muted white flowers emerge from a watery, twilight gray, indicating Seeley's considerable skill and sensitivity in handling the gum bichromate process.