Marjorie Content: Photographs

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9780393036824: Marjorie Content: Photographs

Brief profiles of the artist accompany a selection of her landscapes, still lifes, nudes, and portraits

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Marjorie Content, a well-bred, intelligent woman who moved in artistic circles that included Georgia O'Keeffe and Jean Toomer (her last and worst husband), produced a body of sensitive black-and-white photographs in the 1920s and 1930s that were little known then but may reach a wider audience now. Quasha gathers them and a biographical essay in a lovely, pocketable volume that is a pleasure for those weary from hefting usually much heavier photography tomes. The pictures themselves are of familiar, early modernist types: close-ups of calla lilies and other plants, head-only portraits, and city vignettes. Quasha writes, "The photographs will not change our sense of photographic history . . . [but] will add to our understanding of what photography is capable of, especially in the lyric mode." More interesting, perhaps, is that Content exemplifies the kind of woman (more common in the past) who gives of herself to others and doesn't take her own work seriously enough, in spite of which she left behind a few lovely things that photography collections will cherish. Gretchen Garner

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Quasha, Jill
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