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 50 Years/50 Artworks      

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Clarence Hudson White
(American, 1871–1925)
The Large Hat
1905
platinum print, 9 3/4" x 7 5/8"
Gift of the Estate of Julia Newell Marshall

Many aspiring photographers of the 1910s and 1920s studied at the famous Clarence White School of Photography in New York, among them Duluthian Julia Newell Marshall, whose estate donated this, three other vintage prints by White, and photographs by Marshall herself to the Tweed Museum in 1999.
White practiced and taught “pictorialist” photography, which is distinguished by its soft focus, muted tonal values, and carefully posed subjects — resulting in images suggestive of romance, mystery, and quiet drama. In contrast to the stark realism of photo-journalism, which sought the “decisive moment” in the sharply defined world of everyday life, the pictorialist aesthetic resulted in a manipulation of its subjects and settings in order to suggest wistful emotion. Far from going about the business of everyday life, White’s subjects, like the woman in The Large Hat, appear to be transfixed and lost in private reverie. Besides their visual aesthetic, the appeal of Pictorialist photographs often rises from our curiosity about the subjects’ thoughts.

 
 
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