Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

[Negative Print of Crew at Rest in Hold of Ship]

Artist:
Franz Roh (German, 1890–1965)
Date:
1928–33
Medium:
Gelatin silver print; Negative print
Dimensions:
14.3 x 22.4 cm (5 5/8 x 8 13/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.1100.239
Not on view
In 1929 Roh published the influential photo-book Foto- Auge: 76 Fotos der Zeit (Photo-Eye: 76 photos of the period) and became a leading proponent of Germany’s New Vision. This interwar movement introduced a new way of seeing the world that embodied the spirit of contemporary life. The artfully rounded corners of this negative print depicting a ship and its crew reflect Roh’s interest in nineteenth-century photographs, while the bird’s-eye perspective and industrial subject convey his modern approach.
Inscription: Stamped on print, verso, UC: "Dr. Franz Roh // HERAUSGEGEBER VON FOTOAUGE [in quotation marks] UND FOTOTHEK [in quotation marks]"; inscribed in pencil on print, verso, C [on slant]: "auf Hor [illegible, last word underlined] // eher extrazart [last word underlined] // [illegible]"
[Probably Egidio Marzona, Düsseldorf, Germany]; [Prakapas Gallery, Bronxville, New York]; John C. Waddell, New York (January 8, 1983)

Martin Gassner's research on Lucia Moholy's portrait of Franz Roh (Met Acc. # 1987.1100.105) indicates that art historian Roh became interested in photography through the Moholy's and was active as a photographer from c. 1922-28. The stamp on print verso identifies Roh as the editor of Fotoauge and Fotothek, published in 1929 and 1930 respectively, suggesting either that Roh made the photograph after 1930 or that the stamp was added at a date later than that of photograph.
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