TO PHOTO SECESSION
Gertrude Kasebier was one of the few women at this time to run her own portrait studio, where she employed, among others, Alice Boughton.
Boughton was also a contributing member of the Photo-Secession group. She was originally trained as a painter before taking up photography. She worked and trained with Kasebier in her portrait studio before going out on her own, and the influence of Kasebier on her work is apparent in her photographs. Boughton became a highly regarded portraitist in her time, often creating illustrative and romantic images.
The Photo-Secession also attracted Anne W. Brigman, who is best known for her sentimental images of women in nature. Unlike many of her contemporaries, Brigman photographed the human figure (often nude) in nature, not in artificial settings. Her Portrait of the Hawthornes, 1928 (seen at left) is just one example of her ability in portraiture. Brigman's work was actively promoted by Alfred Stieglitz, and published in his Camera Work.
Bessie Buehrmann was an elected associate of the Photo-Secession group. Her work was exhibited on numerous occasions at the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession (291). As with many early women photographers, Buehrmann's work consisted primarily of portraiture. Her portrait of art critic Sadakichi Hartmann (seen at the top of this page) was taken at his request in 1908. Hartmann has been considered one of the most influential art critics of the 20th century, perhaps best known for his writings on photography. He was an active and prolific contributor to Camera Work, the publication of his friend and colleague Alfred Stieglitz.
Upon viewing the portrait of himself and the remainder of Bessie Buehrmann's photographs, Hartmann wrote the article: Bessie Buehrmann: Under the Influence of the Secession. He was critical of her work, stating that it lacked refinement and still had not risen above the experimental stage. Despite Hartmann's view of her work, Buehrmann enjoyed success and recognition, exhibiting on numerous occasions, as well as publishing photographs in Vogue and Vanity Fair.
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