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Imogen Cunningham papers, 1903-1991

view Imogen Cunningham papers, 1903-1991 digital asset number 1
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976
White, Minor
Lange, Dorothea
O'Keeffe, Georgia
Mann, Margery
Moholy-Nagy, László
Bristol, Horace
Coburn, Alvin Langdon
Noskowiak, Sonya
Weston, Edward
Van Dyke, Willard
Adams, Ansel Easton
Zorach, William
Feininger, Lyonel
Kanaga, Consuelo
Andreson, Laura F.
Witkin, Lee D.
Schoener, Allon
Newhall, Beaumont
Bullock, Wynn
Steinert, Otto
Partridge, Roi
Butler, John Davidson
Steichen, Edward
Toklas, Alice B.
Newman, Arnold
Hellman, Lillian Florence
Aalto, Alvar
Bourke-White, Margaret
Bissantz, Edgar
Sheeler, Charles
Graves, Morris
Struss, Karl
Strand, Paul
George Eastman House
Group f.64
Henry Art Gallery
Witkin Gallery
Place of publication, production, or execution:
Physical Description:
5.5 linear ft. (on 8 microfilm reels)
Biographical material, correspondence, personal business records, notes, teaching files, writings, interview transcripts, printed material, and photographs document the life and career of photographer Imogen Cunningham.
Biographical material includes a birth certificate, 5 biographical sketches, 4 award certificates, and a diploma for an honorary degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts. Correspondence, 1909-1991, is with family, friends, photographers, publishers, museums, galleries, universities and art organizations. Among the correspondents are Alvar Aalto, Ansel Adams, Laura Andreson, Edgar Bissantz, Margaret Bourke-White, Horace Bristol, Wynn Bullock, John Butler, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Lyonel Feininger, the George Eastman House, Morris Graves, Lillian Hellman, Henry Gallery, Consuelo Kanaga, Dorothea Lange, Margery Mann, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Beaumont Newhall, Arnold Newman, Sonya Noskowiak, Georgia O'Keeffe, Allon Schoener, Charles Sheeler, Edward Steichen, Otto Steinert, Paul Strand, Karl Struss, Alice B. Toklas, Willard Van Dyke, Edward Weston, Minor White, Lee Witkin of the Witkin Gallery, and William Zorach.
Legal and financial material includes loan agreements, Cunningham's will, 1962, insurance policies, bank account records, 1944-1973, check registers, 1966-1968, household accounts, 1950-1953, and records of the Imogen Cunningham Trust, 1974-1976. Notes, 1959-1968, include 4 address books, a notebook, lecture notes, and miscellaneous notes. Teaching files, 1964-1971, contain photographs of students and their critiques of their own work. Writings, ca. 1910-1976, are by Cunningham, including an essay "About the Direct-Development of of Platinum Papers for Brown Tones", and by others, including writings about Cunningham, and reviews of the book Imogen Cunningham: Photographs, 1970.
Two transcripts are from an undated video interview and a radio interview, 1951. Printed material, 1903-1991, consists of clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, press releases, calendars of events, programs, brochures, reproductions of art work, and miscellaneous printed material. Photographs, 1916-1976, are of Cunningham, family members, friends, residences, gallery openings and installations, and art work by others. Only four photographs were taken by Cunningham; they are enclosures in letters from John Butler, Lucy Coe, Pearl Cunningham, and Elizabeth Parker.
Imogen Cunningham papers, 1903-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Additional Forms:
Microfilm reels 5034-5041 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
Biography Note:
Photographer, teacher; San Francisco, Calif. Born in Portland, Oregon, Cunningham received training in the Edward S. Curtis studio and in Dresden, Germany. In 1910, she opened a studio in Seattle. In 1932, she was a founding member of Group f.64 with Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, and others. She established a studio in San Francisco in 1947 and was primarily known for her portrait photography. Cunningham was married to printmaker Roi Partridge.
Language Note:
Twenty-five letters, five clippings, and an exhibition catalog are in German.
Donated 1974 and 1976 by Imogen Cunningham and in 1991 by her son, Gryffyrd Partidge. Papers donated by Cunningham were microfilmed on reels 1632-1639, but due to inferior film quality, were remicrofilmed on reels 5034- 5041 with the Gryffyrd Partridge donation.
Location Note:
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001
Portrait photography
Illustrated letters
Photography, Artistic
Women photographers
Record number:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
Additional Online Media:

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