Anne Brigman: A Visionary in Modern Photography
March 27, 2020—We are profoundly sad to announce that the upcoming exhibition, Anne Brigman: A Visionary in Modern Photography, is now canceled. Read the full announcement from Lynn Gumpert, Director of the Grey Art Gallery, here. We welcome you to explore select images and explanatory text from the exhibition in the ‘Images’ tab.
A photographer, poet, and mountaineer, Anne Brigman (1869–1950) is best known for her landscape images from the early 1900s depicting herself and other women nude outdoors in the Sierra Nevada mountains. During her lifetime, this pioneering artist achieved significant recognition on both West and East Coasts. In Northern California, where she lived and worked, she was a leading pictorialist photographer, a proponent of the Arts and Crafts movement, and an active member of the burgeoning Berkeley/Oakland bohemian community. In New York, her work was championed by Alfred Stieglitz, who appointed her to his prestigious Photo-Secession group. Brigman spent her final years in Southern California, where she focused on writing poetry, photographed sand erosions, and published Songs of a Pagan, an illustrated book of poems, the year before she died.
Although the term “feminist art” was not coined until nearly seventy years after Brigman took her first photographs, it certainly applies to her work. Courageously crafting an independent voice as a modern, liberated woman, she redefined her place in society and established her role as an important early photographer. Rediscovering and celebrating her remarkable life, this retrospective presents a long-overlooked, visionary artist whose work clearly deserves greater recognition.
The Nevada Museum of Art has produced a short documentary revisiting Anne Brigman’s life story, her work, and her love for the High Sierra. Ann M. Wolfe, curator of the exhibition and Senior Curator and Deputy Director at the NMA, narrates the video.