Few people know of Anne Brigman (1869-1950), yet she was an essential photographer of the early 20th century, whose feminism and pictorialist imagery caught the eye of Alfred Stieglitz and inspired Georgia O'Keeffe. Stieglitz welcomed her into his new Photo-Secession group and praised her Sierra landscapes with female nudes—work that separated Brigman from the genteel femininity of other women photographers, and later helped shape the public persona Stieglitz crafted for O'Keeffe as the ideal woman artist. Kathleen Pyne traces Brigman's life from Hawai'i to the Sierra, Berkeley, and Long Beach, revealing how her images emerged from the places and cultural politics of the West Coast.
"Brigman's photographs are extraordinary, with their one-of-a-kind strangeness born of a mix of nativist fantasy and feminist emancipation. Pyne is the perfect storyteller to bring this important American artist to life."—Alexander Nemerov