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In Focus: Doris Ulmann

Judith Keller

Doris Ulmann is a contradictory figure in the history of photography. A wealthy New York photographer, she is best known for her quintessentially American pictures of the rural South. A frail woman, she made numerous trips into the rugged Appalachian region. A prolific creator, she died before many of her last images could be printed. Considered one of the foremost photographers in the United States in the 1930s, she disappeared from public awareness until the 1970s. 

The J. Paul Getty Museum owns one hundred and seventy-one pictures by Ulmann, fifty-five of which are presented here. Judith Keller, former senior curator in the Department of Photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum, wrote the extensive accompanying captions and participated, along with William Clift, David Featherstone, Charles Hagen, Weston Naef, Ron Pen, and Susan Millar Williams, in a 1994 colloquium on Ulmann and her work. An edited transcript of their discussion and a chronological overview of Ulmann's life are also included in this volume.

"The coupling of high-quality reproductions of the original platinum prints with perceptive commentary offers a broad audience considerable insight into this photographic process."
—Library Journal


144 pages
6 x 7 5/8 inches
57 duotone illustrations
ISBN 978-0-89236-373-5

Getty Publications
Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum
Series: In Focus: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum