Frances with a Flower
Consuelo Kanaga, one of the pioneers of modern American photography, began her career as a photojournalist in 1915 in San Francisco. In the 1920s, Alfred Stieglitz inspired her to develop a more aesthetic approach, and a trip to Europe in 1928 awakened her lifelong preoccupation with European modernist painting and the ways in which that work was influenced by the sculpture of Africa. Kanaga successfully combined a Pictorialist aesthetic with a realist strategy, producing handsomely composed and carefully printed images. She was one of few white American photographers in the 1930s to make artistic portraits of African Americans.
In Frances with a Flower, the focus is so sharp that the slightly rough texture of the woman’s skin, shiny with perspiration at the hairline, seems palpable. The forehead, nose, and cheeks, highlighted by flash, contrast with the deep-set eyes lost in shadow, thus producing a sculptural dimension that turns the photograph into hills and valleys of light. The stark white blossom pressed to the woman’s nose emphasizes the sensuality of her face.
The Brooklyn Museum held large retrospective exhibitions of Kanaga’s work in 1976 and 1993 and holds several hundred of her images in its collection.
Gelatin silver photograph
Image: 10 5/8 x 8 in. (27 x 20.3 cm)
Mount: 20 x 15 in. (50.8 x 38.1 cm)
Mat: 22 x 16 in. (55.9 x 40.6 cm) (show scale)
Signed lower right mount in pencil: "Consuelo Kanaga"
Inscribed along lower edge interior right face of mat in pencil: "Francis with a Flower, Consuelo Kanaga, 82.65.10"
This item is not on view
Gift of Wallace B. Putnam from the Estate of Consuelo Kanaga
copyright transferred to Brooklyn Museum by the Estate of Wallace Putnam
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Consuelo Kanaga (American, 1894-1978). Frances with a Flower, early 1930s. Gelatin silver photograph, Image: 10 5/8 x 8 in. (27 x 20.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Wallace B. Putnam from the Estate of Consuelo Kanaga, 82.65.10 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 82.65.10_SL1_edited.jpg)
overall, 82.65.10_SL1_edited.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.