Paul Strand (American, New York 1890–1976 Orgeval, France)
Image: 25.5 × 28.4 cm (10 1/16 × 11 3/16 in.)
1st Mount: 25.9 × 29 cm (10 3/16 × 11 7/16 in.)
2nd Mount: 36.9 × 40.6 cm (14 1/2 in. × 16 in.)
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Jennifer and Joseph Duke Gift, 2005
Not on view
Paul Strand studied photography at the Ethical Culture School in New York with Lewis Hine in 1907, and was introduced to pictorial photography the same year on a school outing to the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession. After graduating, Strand made the Camera Club of New York his home; availing himself of the darkroom, the library, and the technical know-how of other club members, he became an exceptional printer at a very young age. Beginning in 1913 he frequented Stieglitz's gallery, absorbing the lessons of modern European and American art, and in 1915, on a visit to the Pan-American Exposition in San Francisco, he was impressed by Japanese wood-block prints. In the manner of the prints, Strand flattened and tilted his space, using the snow as a flat field upon which the trees could draw their delicate tracery. Although the child at the top of the picture is at some distance from the photographer, the space, tonal range, and pictorial incidents are so compressed that the child seems to be pulling the slender tree into an arc, his sled having momentarily snagged in the web of branches. The tensile energy of this drawing belies the winter idyll that is the nominal subject of the picture.
Estate of the artist; [Weston Gallery, New York]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, October 24, 1980