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Photo Credit: David Dietrich


Lamentation (Oblique)

1935 (printed 1980s)
20th century
Medium & Support
Gelatin silver print on paper
Sheet: 19 7/8 x 15 7/8 in. , Image: 17 1/4 x 13 1/2 in.
Art Photography
Object Type
Credit Line
Black Mountain College Collection, Museum purchase
Accession Number
In Copyright
© Barbara and Willard Morgan photographs and papers, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

Photo of a woman wrapped in single linen with a spotlight beaming down on her and her shadow in the background.

Label History

The trained eye behind Morgan’s camera freezes in time the tense and sorrowful choreography of Martha Graham’s seminal 1930 work, Lamentation. The image typifies Morgan’s ability to capture the critical moment in movement expression. The oblique lines created by Graham’s tubelike costume and angular limbs, neither parallel nor perpendicular to a standard axis, drive the physicality and emotion of the composition. Morgan’s photograph documents the aesthetics of modern art, architecture, and design as they translate to the body. The dramatic lighting that brings out these details defines much of Morgan’s work and was an element of her photography course while at Black Mountain College during the Summer Art Institute of 1944.

Exhibition Title: Asheville Art Museum: An Introduction to the Collection
Label Date: 2020
Type: Object Entry
Written by: Hilary Schroeder

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