Barbara Morgan

Selected Works Thumbnail View
Letter to the World (kick), Martha Graham, 1940 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1940. 15 1/8 x 18 7/8 inchesLetter to the World (kick), Martha Graham, 1940 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1940. 15 1/8 x 18 7/8 inches

Letter to the World (kick), Martha Graham, 1940

Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1940. 15 1/8 x 18 7/8 inches

Martha Graham, Lamentation (oblique), 1935 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1935. 10 x 10 1/2 inchesMartha Graham, Lamentation (oblique), 1935 Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1935. 10 x 10 1/2 inches

Martha Graham, Lamentation (oblique), 1935

Gelatin silver print, printed c. 1935. 10 x 10 1/2 inches

War Theme, 1941 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1941. 14 1/2 x 19 inchesWar Theme, 1941 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1941. 14 1/2 x 19 inches

War Theme, 1941

Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1941. 14 1/2 x 19 inches

Martha Graham Group - Celebration, 1934 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1934. 19 5/8 x 15 inchesMartha Graham Group - Celebration, 1934 Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1934. 19 5/8 x 15 inches

Martha Graham Group - Celebration, 1934

Gelatin silver print mounted to board, printed c. 1934. 19 5/8 x 15 inches

Outerspace, 1960 Ink and watercolor. 11 1/2 x 14 1/2 inchesOuterspace, 1960 Ink and watercolor. 11 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

Outerspace, 1960

Ink and watercolor. 11 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches

Pure Energy and Neurotic Man, 1940 Gelatin silver print mounted to board. 13 1/2 x 10 1/2 inchesPure Energy and Neurotic Man, 1940 Gelatin silver print mounted to board. 13 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches

Pure Energy and Neurotic Man, 1940

Gelatin silver print mounted to board. 13 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches

City Shell, 1938 Gelatin silver print. 19 1/2 x 15 inchesCity Shell, 1938 Gelatin silver print. 19 1/2 x 15 inches

City Shell, 1938

Gelatin silver print. 19 1/2 x 15 inches

Rain Dancers, 1931 Colored woodcut. 14 5/8 x 17 3/8 inchesRain Dancers, 1931 Colored woodcut. 14 5/8 x 17 3/8 inches

Rain Dancers, 1931

Colored woodcut. 14 5/8 x 17 3/8 inches

Photogram #2, n.d. Photogram. 14 x 11 inchesPhotogram #2, n.d. Photogram. 14 x 11 inches

Photogram #2, n.d.

Photogram. 14 x 11 inches

Other Works
Prints 1920-1930Prints 1920-1930
Prints 1920-1930
Ink DrawingsInk Drawings
Ink Drawings
Light DrawingsLight Drawings
Light Drawings
PhotomontagesPhotomontages
Photomontages
PhotogramsPhotograms
Photograms
PhotographsPhotographs
Photographs

Bruce Silverstein Gallery is the New York representative of the Barbara Morgan Archive

 

Barbara Morgan is widely recognized for her groundbreaking photographic images of the American modern dance movement from the 1930s and 1940s. The artist aimed to free the figure within space, focusing on singular movements and sometimes using double-exposures to create a slow-motion effect. Both an expressionist and a modernist, Morgan was interested the concept of visual metaphors fluctuating between realism and abstraction. Throughout her life, Morgan produced work within different mediums with fluidity, shaped by what she described as “early root experiences” with painting and poetry. Her drawings, watercolors, paintings and photographs captured city themes, western landscapes, the poetry of the body and its rhythm.

 

Born in 1900 in Buffalo, Kansas, Morgan grew up in Southern California where she attended University of California Los Angeles. Majoring in fine art and art history had a profound effect on Morgan, pushing her to navigate between different mediums throughout her career. After an encounter with Edward Weston, she realized photography’s potential for artistic expression. In 1930, she moved to New York where she would soon meet Martha Graham and her dance company. She passed away in 1992 at the age of 92. Morgan was awarded a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, a Philadelphia Museum of Art Fellowship and a Lifetime Achievement Award by American Society of Magazine Photographers, Washington D.C. A member of the Photo League, she was also among the original founders of Aperture. In 2006, she had her first solo show with Bruce Silverstein.


By 1945 she had a major solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Mellon Gallery in Philadelphia and the Sherman Gallery, New York. Other major exhibitions include the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; George Eastman House, Rochester; Smithsonian Institute, Washington D.C.; Los Angeles Museum; and the Fine Art Gallery in San Diego.


Her work can be found at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Lincoln Center Library and Museum of Performing Arts, New York; National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Center for Creative Photography, Tucson; Library of Congress, Washington D.C.; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; New Orleans Museum; Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; and the Amon Carter Museum, Texas among other numerous permanent collections worldwide.


In 1941 Morgan published Martha Graham: Sixteen Dances in Photographs, which became so valuable it started being stolen from libraries by the 1970s. The book was reprinted in 1980.