Gelatin silver print
Image: 15.3 x 11 cm (6 x 4 5/16 in.); Matted: 30.6 x 25.4 cm (12 1/16 x 10 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1990.121
An inventive and versatile photographer, in Umbo joined the newly formed Berlin photographic agency known as Dephot (Deutsche Photodienst) in 1929, working as a photojournalist and writing about avant-garde film, dance, and theater. From 1926–30, he photographed performances produced by a dance and theatrical company associated with the German Bauhaus, an avant-garde school of architecture and design. In this surreal image, three figures dressed in elaborate costumes and masks impersonate dolls. The distorted perspective and ominous shadows give the image a disconcerting mood.
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