A pioneer of modern photography on the West Coast, Cunningham enjoyed a prolific career across seven decades. Here, in one of several photographs she made at the Shredded Wheat Factory in 1928, she trains her camera up the long, disorienting stalk of a water tower. Flattened against the blank sky beyond, the resulting image resembles a plant or an abstract design as much as it does an industrial structure. Like fellow West Coast photographer Edward Weston, Cunningham was interested in the seeming naturalness and beauty of the machine-made landscape.
Imogen Cunningham Trust, Berkeley, California; [Brent Sikkema, Boston]; John C. Waddell, New York (October 3, 1986)
Montclair Art Museum. "Precisionism in America 1915-1941: Reordering Reality," November 20, 1994–January 22, 1995.
Travis, David. Photography Rediscovered: American Photographs, 1900–1930. New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1979.
This print may have been exhibited in Film und Foto in Stuttgart in 1929.