Paul Strand: Master of Modern Photography at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Dai Li ’16

Paul Strand, was not only a photographer but an consummate artist. Strand’s revolutionary artistic achievement was based on his efforts to constantly explore the diverse possibilities of photography. Born in New York, Strand’s very early photography focused on Pictorialism, an international photography movement that emphasized the aesthetic qualities of pictures. He created many pictures associated with life in New York.

(Dai Li)
During the 1920s, Strand both married and acquired his first movie camera, an Akeley camera. He was fascinated with both, especially the camera, which allowed him to further deepen his investigation of the creative and humanistic potential of photography.
(Dai Li)
The exhibition places several paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, and John Marin alongside Strand’s works during this period. His widening engagement with his fellwo artists helped him remain in contact with the modern art language of his time.

(Dai Li)
During the next decades, Strand established his work within his political perspective as a Leftist. He utilized his photographs to manifest his objection to war and fascism. At the same time, he traveled to many countries such as Europe, Mexico, and Ghana and made his telling photographs. 
(The Family, Luzzara(The Lusettis), Dai Li)

The Family, which Strand took in 1953 when he traveled in Italy exemplifies this time in his career and shows the peaceful and quiet country that Strand admired. The picture symbolizes Strand’s desire to capture the post-war context of 1950s.