Brancusi’s initial foray into photography around 1917 began as documentation of his sculptural output, with the goal of providing important New York-based collector John Quinn with images of new work. While Brancusi was familiar with photography, having made photographs as early as 1905, he called on his friend Man Ray for help in improving his technique and for recommendations regarding equipment. The practice evolved quickly into an exploration of another artistic medium.
Brancusi’s studio was at the core of his identity as an artist. He believed that he was the only person suited to document his works and wanted them to be viewed in context, only within the studio space where they had been created. Brancusi's placement of the sculptures was deliberate, designed to convey both the autonomy of each work and its harmony as part of the whole. At his death, Brancusi bequeathed his studio, its contents, and more than 1,000 photographs to the French government. It has since been rebuilt outside the Pompidou Centre.
As of this writing no other known prints of this image have been located.
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