Here’s an original signed photograph by the famed photographer Barbara Brooks Morgan. It’s of a portrait of an equally famous photographer, Bernice Abbott posing with her cat. “Bernice Abbott with Cat” is a gelatin silver print taken in 1942 and printed by Morgan in 1980. The same image is in the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago, also printed by her in 1980. The photo image is 12 ½” x 17 ¼” and the paper is 16” x 20”. The varied textures and fine resolution of this photograph bring the viewer straight back to the day it was shot - 72 years ago.
Barbara Morgan lived from 1900 to 1992. Born in Kansas, she studied painting at UCLA and then taught in the school’s art department for 5 years. During this time she met Edward Weston and was inspired by his photographic artistry. She moved next to New York and began her long career as a photographer of dance, children, and the city and experimented with photomontage. She is well known for her amazing dance photos of Martha Graham and other dance celebrities of the time. Her work is in numerous museums and collections.
The photograph of Abbott is especially interesting in combining these two great female photographers who were born only 2 years apart and died within a year of each other. Both came to New York and made great names for themselves – Abbott is particularly known for her famed pictures of New York City.
The photograph is in very good condition – one corner is slightly bumped and another corner has a crease near the corner, but it's not near the image itself. It is signed by Barbara Morgan on the lower right and on the back as well. Morgan also put the title on the lower left hand side. This would be a very worthy addition to a photography collection, but perhaps more importantly this is a wonderful timeless portrait of a great woman along with woman's best friend - her adorable cat.
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