Title: Nude (Ben Butler seated)
Dimensions: Image: 9 1/2 × 7 1/4 in. (24.1 × 18.4 cm)
Mount (1): 12 5/8 × 9 3/8 in. (32.1 × 23.8 cm)
Mount (2): 16 7/8 × 13 3/4 in. (42.9 × 34.9 cm)
Mat: 20 × 16 in. (50.8 × 40.6 cm)
Acquired through the Jennifer, Gale, and Ira Drukier Fund, the Herbert F. Johnson, Class of 1922, Endowment, the Ernest I. White, Class of 1893, Endowment, the Cronkhite Art Purchase Endowment, and the Professor and Mrs. M. H. Abrams Purchase Fund, with additional support from Helen Buchanan, the Marcia Jacobson and Daniel R. Schwarz Johnson Museum Purchase Fund, Vera Metcalf, and Margaret and Frank Robinson
Cunningham met Alfred Stieglitz and Gertrude Käsebier in 1909, and their shared interest in the soft-focus approach of Pictorialism is evident in this photograph of Cunningham’s neighbor and close friend Ben Butler. The elaborate set up of the scene with exotic attire recalls Julia Margaret Cameron’s narrative tableau. In the 1930s, Cunningham was a founding member with Ansel Adams and Edward Weston of Group f/64, which emphasized sharp focus with no manipulation of the prints in the darkroom. The Johnson Museum has eight photographs by Cunningham, spanning her career and working methods. (“Highlights from the Collection: 45 Years at the Johnson," curated by Stephanie Wiles and presented at the Johnson Museum January 27–July 22, 2018)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.