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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: The dying cedar
Date: 1909
Medium: Gelatin silver print
Dimensions: Image: 9 7/16 x 6 3/8 in. (24 x 16.2 cm) Mount (1): 9 15/16 × 6 15/16 in. (25.2 × 17.6 cm) Mount (2): 17 5/8 × 14 in. (44.7 × 35.6 cm) Mat: 20 × 16 in. (50.8 × 40.6 cm)
Credit Line: Acquired through the generosity of Joan Libshutz, Class of 1968, and Alan Libshutz, Class of 1967; and Martha Merrifield Steen, Class of 1949, and Bill Steen; with additional support from the Warner L. Overton, Class of 1922, Endowment; and the Herbert F. Johnson, Class of 1922, Endowment
Object Number: 97.011
Label Text: Anne Brigman, a native California artist working in Berkeley, came to photography relatively late, when she was in her thirties and working as a painter. She received immediate critical acclaim with her initial submissions to the second San Francisco Salon of pictorialist photography and the first Los Angeles Salon, and in 1903 she was a surprise addition to Alfred Stieglitz's CameraWork list of seventeen Fellows and thirty Associate members. Brigman was considered a free spirit, perhaps even eccentric, with unconventional ideas about women's roles. She was brought up to appreciate the natural beauty that surrounded her, and as a child she and her sisters frequently camped in the Sierra Nevadas with their mother. As an adult she returned to spend her summers there, accompanied by friends and siblings whom she used as models in her landscapes. Unlike her East Coast counterparts, she photographed the nude in situ, rather than confined to a studio space. This allowed the figures to merge and meld with their natural environment. In The Dying Cedar, the figure seems, like Daphne, to become one with the tree. Dusk lends an air of haunting mystery around the central figures. In 1909 The Dying Cedar was published as a photogravure for the January issue of CameraWork. (From “A Handbook of the Collection: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art," 1998)

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.