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Margaret Watkins: Domestic Symphonies

Margaret Watkins: Domestic Symphonies

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Only recently has Margaret Watkins (1884-1969) come to be cited in the annals of twentieth-century photography. She is remembered as a formidable teacher at the Clarence H. White School of Photography and as an active member of the Pictorial Photographers of America. But it is her photographs - now considered key works in the history of early advertising photography and classic examples of modernist photography - that have earned her special recognition within the history of the medium. Watkins unsettled the established art world of the time with images such as still-life studies of dirty dishes in a kitchen sink and a shower hose in a bathroom. Even more surprising for some was the discovery that this photographer, who pushed the limits of modern photography in 1920s New York, had been born and raised in Canada.

This publication accompanies the first major retrospective exhibition of the work of Margaret Watkins with loans from major public and private collections, including the Watkins estate and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. With nearly 100 plates, many never before published, and a thorough telling of Watkins’ extraordinary life, this publication is a much-needed monograph on the once-lost work of a compelling artist.

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