Finis Brigman, Annie A.  (American, 1869-1950)

In Brigman’s ethereal photographs, rendered in soft and gauzy film, women are not pictured in the home, but in the unconfined spaces of the American West—the rocky cliffs and winsome headlands of the Sierra Nevadas, amid the juniper and pine. In a visual entwining of body and landscape, the female nude is often posed among knotted twisting trees, the limbs and branches so deeply entangled they first appear as one. The photographs for Brigman were a sublime expression of unity with the earth, a recognition of the sacred in the natural world, and they would become an important emblem of West Coast modernism.