Gordon H. Coster (American, Baltimore, Maryland 1906–1988)
Gelatin silver print
35.1 x 27.4 cm (13 13/16 x 10 13/16 in.)
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Rights and Reproduction:
Photograph and print by Gordon Coster
Not on view
Coster began his career as a commercial photographer for the prestigious Underwood & Underwood studio, first in New York and later in Chicago, where he created advertisements for Marshall Field’s, among other clients. Influenced by the formal experiments of European New Vision photographers such as Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Coster created a series of dynamic abstracted views of Chicago at night in the early 1930s. During World War II Coster shifted his focus to photojournalism, reporting on labor and civil-rights issues for Life and Fortune magazines. In 1946 Moholy-Nagy invited him to lecture on New Vision photography at the Institute of Design in Chicago, where Coster continued to teach on and off through the 1960s.
Inscription: Signed in pencil on print, recto LR: "Gordon Coster 1932"; signed in pencil on 2nd mount, verso C: "Gordon Coster [underlined]"; inscribed in ink on 2nd mount, verso LC: "Title -- // "Chicago - Impression at Night" // Chloride // By-- // Gordon Coster // 308 North Michigan Ave. [crossed out in pencil] [then added in pencil:] 154 East Ave. // Chicago - Illinois // #141B [encircled]"; numerous pencil marks on 2nd mount, verso overall; inscribed in pencil on 2nd mount, verso CL: "4 [encircled]"
[Keith De Lellis to Waddell, December 27, 1983]; John C. Waddell
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 45," January 9, 2007 - May 6, 2007.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Night Vision: Photography After Dark," April 26, 2011–September 5, 2011.