Portrait (Miss N.) by Gertrude Käsebier. Numbered photographic print of 500 copies exclusively in Wombat box No. 32. Size 18 x 24cm, made by laboratory Processus on fine art Hahnemühle paper.
Gertrude Käsebier (1852-1934) was a 37-year-old mother of three when she signed up for art school in 1889. Ten years later, at the beginning of the 20th century, she had established herself and founded the Photo-Secession group with Stieglitz in New York.
“Miss N.” was part of the work published in the first edition of Camera Work, and testifies to the popularity of the journal with its 650 subscribers. Indeed, this voluptuous young woman is none other than the celebrated Evelyn Nesbit (1884-1967), a Broadway dancer whose beauty had earned her the devoted attention of many men and artists. In 1906, Nesbit was also at the centre of a crime of passion that delighted the newspapers, when her husband killed her lover, an architect of some repute.
This print reveals the talents of Käsebier as a portraitist. She cleverly captures the delicate movement of her subject, both natural and posed, her long curling ringlets, sensual attitude and direct gaze. The young woman appears relaxed, aware of her beauty, terribly feminine and yet still touched with innocence. Käsebier was interested in the status of women in society, and considered pho-tography to be a potential engine for women’s social emancipation.
Printed by Processus laboratory on Hahnemühle, Photo Rag Baryta 315g