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Karl Struss

Also Known as: Karl Fischer Struss

Born:
New York, New York 1886

Died:
Santa Monica, California 1981

Active in:

  • Los Angeles, California

Biography

Karl Struss, who studied with Clarence White, was known for the complex tonalities of his platinum prints. His work was represented in Alfred Stieglitz's important "International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography" in Buffalo, New York, in 1910. Two years later he became a member of the Photo-Secession and was featured in Stieglitz's journal, Camera Work. Struss's concern for sophisticated composition is evident in this modest image of plants on a windowsill. Gently muted, it evokes the nostalgic mood of Pictorialism. however, the geometry of the window—the frame within the frame of the photograph—suggests a more modern artistic idea. Beyond his work in photography, Struss also was a noted Hollywood cinematographer, winning an Oscar for Sunrise in 1927.

Merry A. Foresta American Photographs: The First Century (Washington, D.C.: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996)