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Bay Area Artists

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Port Anchor

ca. 1932
20th Century
9 1/4 in. x 7 1/2 in. (23.5 cm x 19.05 cm)

John Paul Edwards, American, (1884–1968)

Object Type: Photography and Video
Creation Place: North America, United States, California
Medium and Support: Gelatin silver print
Credit Line: Museum Purchase, Susan L. Mills Fund
Accession Number: 1941.19
Industrialization is a reoccurring theme in Group f/64's photography. In this stunning, true to life photograph of the anchor chain of a boat, Edwards plays with the idea of abstraction without a Pictorialist approach. It is easy to see the influence of fellow Group f/64 members, like Imogen Cunningham, who took very up close, very detailed photos of flowers. Edwards additionally demonstrates in this photo the power of making the mundane beautiful, a crucial element of Group f/64's work. This photo was most likely taken towards the end of the 1930s, when the Kaiser Shipyards were running. These 7 shipyards, four of which were in Richmond, were naval supply areas for World War II. On top of this, the proximity of Oakland and similar San Franciscan neighbors to the ocean also indicates a common presence of commercial or personal ships. However, Edwards is able to use contrast and abstraction to make the common extraordinary.

--Melony Ford, December 2015

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:

  • Sheet Dimensions: 9 1/4 in. x 7 1/2 in. (23.5 cm x 19.05 cm)
  • Mat Dimensions: 20 in. x 16 in. (50.8 cm x 40.64 cm)

Bibliography List
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