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Paul Outerbridge
Saltine Box
Gelatin silver print

3 1/2 x 4 1/2 inches
Gift of Miss Thea Cottone

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Excerpt from Museum of Fine Arts, Boston:

Paul Outerbridge, Jr. (American, 1896–1958)
Saltine Box, 1922

Paul Outerbridge’s early work, considered by some to be his best, was shaped by his studies at the Clarence H. White School of Photography in New York. His still-life abstractions of ordinary objects reflect the school’s modernist emphasis on composition and design, while his devotion to the platinum printing process represents a lingering Pictorialist aesthetic of refinement and perfectionism. A contact print from a small negative, Saltine Box is an exquisite study of the delicate, warm tonalities characteristic of the platinum print, from the dense black of the shadows through the infinitesimal modulations of gray that describe the block. Graphically simple, the image nonetheless conveys a disturbing visual uncertainty, seeming simultaneously three-dimensional and flat.

PDP Register entry: Date acquired, 12/1/1932

Credit Line:
Gift of Miss Thea Cottone
© 2008 G. Ray Hawkins Gallery, Beverly Hills, California


Additional Information

Paul Outerbridge: Selected Biographies on Art in Context

Paul Outerbridge: Related Links on Art in Context


Paul Outerbridge, American, (1896–1958)
b. August 15, 1896, New York, NY
d. 1958

Art in Context - Projects:
Art in Context - Art for the Day: August 15

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