Magnolia Blossom

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Magnolia Blossom

United States, 1925
Photographs
Gelatin silver print
Image (Image): 9 1/8 x 11 1/2 in. Frame: 20 × 24 in. (50.8 × 60.96 cm)
The Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection, gift of The Annenberg Foundation and Carol Vernon and Robert Turbin (M.2008.40.599)
Not currently on public view

History

Magnolia Blossom by Imogen Cunningham was the only work in their collection that Marjorie and Leonard Vernon de-accessioned. Curator and historian Susan Ehrens explained:
...
Magnolia Blossom by Imogen Cunningham was the only work in their collection that Marjorie and Leonard Vernon de-accessioned. Curator and historian Susan Ehrens explained:

"A lot of my research had to with Imogen Cunningham, so I met people who had known her at various stages of her life. One of the most significant people was a woman named Clare Shephard who had been Imogen's model in Seattle. They had shared a studio in 1910 and Claire had all these platinum prints by Cunningham of herself. She also had a vintage Magnolia Blossom that Imogen had given her. On the back it said 'Formen Einer Blume' the German name of the plant. And at some point, she decided that she wanted to sell that. And so, I brought it straight to Leonard and Marjorie Vernon and they were very interested in it. Leonard said that he wanted to buy it for $16,000, which seemed to me like I was saying $16 million! But the Cunningham Magnolia Blossom in the collection now is not the one I sold them. They bought another print, a larger version. Imogen had printed it in two sizes, both sold through the Mills College bookstore: one was $5 and the larger one was $10! The Magnolia was one of the images that kept getting reproduced as a feature of the Vernon collection and it took a long time for me to realize it wasn't the same print of Magnolia Blossom that had been Clare's."
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Bibliography

  • Benson, Timothy O. Hans Richter: Encounters. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2013.
  • Salvesen, Britt. See the Light: Photography, Perception, Cognition: the Marjorie and Leonard Vernon Collection. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art; New York: DelMonico Books/Prestel, 2013.