Monday, 5 April 2021

Gertrude Käsebier

 This image caught my browsing eye this morning. I love the lighting, and particularly the energy and movement in it – unusual for photographs of its period (turn of the last century) – and its feeling of intimacy and spontaneity. It's called 'Dancing School' or 'The Dance' and it's a gum bichromate print by Gertrude Käsebier, who was America's leading woman photographer in her day. She was one of the first to earn money by photography, and she encouraged other women to do the same. The emphasis Käsebier, who had a husband and family to support, put on the commercial side of photography led to a falling-out with her former mentor Alfred Stieglitz (who, according to Edward Dahlberg, 'had genius, but he was not a good man'). Below is Käsebier's portrait of Stieglitz, a photograph that looks like an Expressionist painting –

Gertrude Käsebier was known for her domestic interiors and mother-and-child compositions, her striking images of Native Americans, and her portraits. Among her many subjects was an old friend of this blog, the notorious Evelyn Nesbit – 


  1. I have a granddaughter(8)who uses this gaze on a regular basis, usually followed by a request. It doesn't turn me to stone, but robs me of all speech save one word - yes.