OF SEVERAL REASONS why Barbara Morgan was requested to design, write and produce the publication of a monograph about her own work, one reason is that she is experienced enough to do it. How wonderful to behold a person who has developed all of these capacities because of her practice of living as a whole being.
. . . thinking of Light pouring . . . bathing people and things in the world, light in every vibration releasing potential images to the seeing eye . . . outward flying images refracting invisibly . . . interflowing in great and small space. The Egyptian sun flooding the sculptors shaping the Sphinx. . .
FOUR YEARS OLD: Above my bed hung a wash drawing. It was a foliage study of a tree, by Benjamin Coe (1799-1883). Morning after morning I would look up at it tracing the twigs and limbs and cracks in the bark, seeing how the color washed thin, how little dabs of paint would seem to be leaves or the tip of a twig.
My essential art training at the University of California at Los Angeles, 1919-23, was based on Arthur Wesley Dow’s principles of art “synthesis”. In this approach, abstract design was considered fundamental to all art structure, styles and media, and was taught parallel to realistic drawing and painting straight through the four years.
Ancestry: 11th generation American of English, Scotch, French, Welsh descent. 1900 Born: Barbara Brooks Johnson, Buffalo, Kansas. Moved West at nine months, grew up on peach ranch, Southern California. Root impressions: magnificent light, space, color; Spanish, Oriental influences.
Morgan, Barbara, Martha Graham: Sixteen Dances in Photographs. Design, Photographs, Text by author. DUELL, SLOAN & PEARCE, New York, 1941; 2nd Edition 1949. (AMERICAN INSTITUTE GRAPHIC ARTS TRADE BOOK CLINIC AWARD, 1941.) Morgan, Barbara, Summer’s Children: A Photographic Cycle of Life at Camp.
Conquest of Civilization, James Henry Breasted. Photomontage book jacket and end papers by Barbara Morgan, HARPER & BROTHERS, New York, 1938. Prestini’s Art in Wood, Photographs by Barbara Morgan, Foreword by Edgar Kaufmann, Jr., POCOHONTAS PRESS, Lake Forest, Ill., 1950.
Leica Annual, GALLEON PRESS, New York, 1937, p. 108. Photography Annual, PRESS CENTRE LTD., London, 1947. Popular Photography Annual, New York, 1960, p. 71. Soleils, ÉDITIONS ARTS ET MÉTIERS GRAPHIQUES, Paris, 1941, p. 73. U.S. Camera Annual, U.S. CAMERA PUBLISHING CORP., New York: 1939, p. 36; 1940, p. 92; 1941, p. 44; 1942, p. 52; 1943, p. 139; 1947, p. 256; 1948, p. 237; 1949, p. 71.
What I Think Of Modern Art, Los ANGELES TIMES, Art Page, June 13, 1926. From talk given, Pacific Arts Association Conference, LOS ANGELES ART MUSEUM, Exposition Park. Dance Photography, U.S. CAMERA MAGAZINE, New York, Feb., 1940. In Focus: Photography The Youngest Visual Art, MAGAZINE OF ART, New York, Nov., 1942.
1926 Modern Art Workers Exhibition, LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART, Exposition Park, watercolor. 1926 7th Annual California Watercolor Society Exhibition, LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART, watercolor. 1927 2nd Annual Artists of Southern California, FINE ARTS GALLERY, Balboa Park, San Diego, watercolor.
1938 Bennington College Dance Festival, Bennington, Vt., dance photographs. 1939-40 LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART, dance photographs. 1940 PHOTO LEAGUE, New York, dance photographs. 1940-41-42-43 Dance Photograph Touring Exhibitions, I, II, III, IV, circulated to over 150 colleges, museums, galleries; in the United States, Mexico and territory of Hawaii.
1936 Third International Leica Exhibit, RADIO CITY, New York. 10 city themes. 1937 1st Annual American Artist’s Congress, ROCKEFELLER CENTER, New York. 2 photomontage. 1938 International Photographic Exposition, GRAND CENTRAL PALACE, New York, dance, photomontage.
Art in Progress, MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, New York, 1944. Creative Photography: Teaching Portfolio No. 1, MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, New York, 1949. Texture and Pattern: Teaching Portfolio No. 2, MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, New York, 1949. La Danse Artistique aux USA, B. de Rothschild.