SMWI*: Three Dancers


This photograph is a gif of Imogen Cunningham’s: Three Dancers, Mill College (1929). Cunningham’s original photograph and bio can be found below:


Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976) was an American photographer known for her botanical photography, nudes, and industrial landscapes. She was born in Portland, Oregon and grew up in Seattle. Her father, Isaac Burns Cunningham, named Imogen after the heroine of Shakespeare’s Cymberline. He encouraged her to read before she entered school and paid for art lessons every summer.  She attended the University of Washington in Seattle, majoring in chemistry after she was advised by her professor that she should have a scientific background if she wanted to be a photographer. To pay her expenses she worked as a secretary to her chemistry professor and made slides for the botanists. Cunningham opened her studio and won acclaim for portraiture and pictorial work. Most of her studio work of this time consisted of sitters in their own homes, in her living room, or in the woods surrounding Cunningham’s cottage. She became a sought after photographer and exhibited at the Brooklyn Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1913.  In 1929, Cunningham becoming more interested in the human form, particularly hands, and she was fascinated with the hands of artists and musicians. This interest led to her employment by Vanity Fair, photographing stars without make-up. In 1932, with this unsentimental, straightforward approach in mind, Cunningham became one of the co-founders of the Group f/64, which aimed to “define photography as an art form by a simple and direct presentation through purely photographic methods.”



  1. Exit: stage right!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. oh, this is amazing. i love that she’s captured a moment in time, frozen it, and yet, you can literally see the life in it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A masterful shot! And the dancers have done their Saturday workout. That’s obvious.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just love this – it’s my daughter! (Except she wasn’t born yet – in 1929 – and neither was I.)

    Liked by 1 person

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