This winter, the Seattle Art Museum debuts the first major U.S. retrospective of photographer Imogen Cunningham’s work in over 35 years.
Organized by L.A.’s J. Paul Getty Museum, the exhibit brings Cunningham home to her native Pacific Northwest—she was born in Portland and attended the University of Washington before establishing her first photography studio in Seattle.
Best known for her sensuous flower studies, Cunningham’s pioneering contribution to 20th-century photography runs much deeper, evidenced by the nearly 200 works from her 70-year career on display. Included are portraits of Hollywood stars, gritty street photography and startlingly modern nudes.
“As a woman artist on the cutting edge of her field, Cunningham’s story is an important one to tell,” says Carrie Dedon, SAM’s Assistant Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art. “She undertook artistic collaborations with Ruth Asawa and Martha Graham, and I hope viewers leave not only with an understanding of Cunningham’s innovation and experimentation, but also her collaborative and charismatic spirit.”
The retrospective runs through February 6, 2022.