Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Fort Peck Dam, Montana

Artist:
Margaret Bourke-White (American, Bronx, New York 1904–1971 Darien, Connecticut)
Date:
1936
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
33.1 x 26.6 cm (13 x 10 1/2 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.1100.25
Not on view
When Life magazine printed Bourke-White’s photograph on the cover of its first issue (November 23, 1936), it solidified Fort Peck Dam’s status as an icon of the machine age. Looking up at giant concrete buttresses and what appear to be crenellated battlements (actually supports for an elevated highway), with small figures on the spillway providing the necessary indication of scale, Bourke-White creates a vivid illustration of the power of technology to dwarf humankind. This robust work presents new, modern monuments as equally impressive as the towering walls of ancient cities.
Inscription: Inscribed in ink on original mount, now removed and attached recto LL, below print: "to Walter Engel // with [illegible] dial regards // from // Margaret Bourke-White";
(Sale, Christie's, New York, May 9, 1983, Lot #27, to Waddell); John C. Waddell

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 23, 1989–December 31, 1989.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 28, 1990–April 22, 1990.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 10, 1990–July 15, 1990.

High Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 5, 1991–April 28, 1991.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 8, 1991–August 4, 1991.

IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia. "The New Vision, IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia," January 20, 1995–March 26, 1995.

Whitney Museum of American Art. "The American Century: Art and Culture, 1900-2000," April 22, 1999–September 5, 1999.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 50," January 6, 2009–May 3, 2009.

Hambourg, Maria Morris. The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars, Ford Motor Company Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1989. no. 26.

Phillips, Lisa. The American Century: Art & Culture, 1900–1950. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999. p. 219.



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