Nationality & Life Dates:
Palma Cuernavaca II
Image/Sight: 9 3/8 × 6 3/8 inches
Gift of Lucinda W. Bunnen for the Bunnen Collection to mark the retirement of Gudmund Vigtel
Currently Not on View
This photograph of a palm trunk was one of many creative breakthroughs Edward Weston made during an extended sojourn in Mexico from 1923 to 1927. A year earlier he had photographed another palm, showing the crown of leaves, but this photograph reduced his subject more radically to the simplest, most abstract elements. A viewer might easily mistake the subject for a factory smokestack—only the title or close examination reveals its true nature. This photograph marked Weston’s new understanding of how a straight photograph, manipulated only by choices of light and framing, could reveal extraordinary forms and surprises in even the most common subjects.