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Ebony and Ivory Day, Holland  (American, 1864-1933)

Few of the images seen in Camera Notes were as subdued and emotional as those by F. Holland Day.  Day’s important figure study, Ebony and Ivory, for instance, wallowed in shadow and lack of definition.  By rendering an out-of-focus black figure against a nebulous dark background, Day produced nothing short of a visual tone poem.  The issue of Camera Notes that included Ebony and Ivory described Day’s way of working:  “His aspiration has been to lift us into the realms of the imagination by avoiding the vulgar effects of mere realistic quality; and he has aimed throughout his work to suggest, not the mere beauty that delights the eye, but the grace which moves the intellectual and higher sensibilities as well”.  – Peterson Camera Notes P.20