- Charles Sheeler
- THE LILY, MOUNT KISCO
- Gelatin silver print
- 9 5/8 x 7 5/8 inches
Doris Bry, New York, 1992
Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., and Norman Keyes, Jr., Charles Sheeler: The Photographs (Boston, 1987), pl. 8 (Lane Collection print)
Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr., Gilles Mora, and Karen E. Haas, The Photography of Charles Sheeler: American Modernist (Boston, 2002), p. 47 (Lane Collection print)
William A. Ewing, Flora Photographica: Masterpieces of Flower Photography (London, 1991), pl. 72 (Amon Carter Museum print)
The present print was exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art in 1939 in Sheeler’s first major museum retrospective of paintings, watercolors, prints, and photographs. ‘The photographs,’ New York Times art critic Edward Alden Jewell wrote, ‘are simply magnificent. I do not think I have ever seen finer ones from any hand. In them, too, we discern the architectonic and abstract fundament upon which Sheeler bases all that he does’ (The New York Times, 8 October 1939).
This photograph comes originally from the collection of Dorothy Miller, one of the first curators at The Museum of Modern Art, who organized Sheeler’s 1939 retrospective. It is accompanied by a backboard fragment stamped with Miller’s 12 East 8th Street address, her home with husband and fellow curator Holger Cahill, which served for decades as an incubator for Manhattan’s modern artists.
As with most of Sheeler’s photographs, extant prints of the present image are scarce. Three prints have been located in institutional collections: in the Lane Collection at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the great repository of Sheeler’s work; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and The Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth. Only one other print of this image is believed to have been offered at auction, sold in these rooms in November 1981 from the collection of the photographer’s widow.