15 Items in this Learning Collection
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Collection Object
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Shad Tree in Bloom, Great Smoky Mountains, 14 April 1968

Accession Number

Shad Tree in Bloom, Great Smoky Mountains, 14 April 1968

Eliot Porter

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1968; printed 1968-1983

Medium & Support
cibachrome print on paper

23 7/8 in x 20 1/16 in (60.64 cm x 50.96 cm);19 1/4 in x 15 1/2 in (48.89 cm x 39.37 cm);24 in x 20 1/16 in (60.96 cm x 50.96 cm);28 1/8 in x 22 1/8 in (71.44 cm x 56.2 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Clayton E. Wilhite

Subject matter
Photographed from within a thickly-wooded forest, this photograph depicts the temperate landscape at the beginnings of spring, with most of the trees still yet bare of leaves. All the features in the scene appear to be in sharp focus, which flattens a sense of depth in the scene, thus compressing all the visual information into a single plane. Further, this flattening renders the multitude of branches, twigs, stems, and sticks of the forest into a dizzyingly patterned wall of interwoven lines and textures. Grounding the busy composition, the top of a lichen-splotched boulder sits in the foreground, the curving trunk of a small shad tree arching over it. In the center of the frame, the shad tree’s limbs are in full bloom, a rich smattering of cream-colored flowers adorn its branches. The cool grey-green of the surrounding trees’ bark complements the russet-colored forest floor.

Physical Description
This photograph is of a temperate forest at the beginning of springtime.  A small blooming tree occupies the center of the frame.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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flowers (plant components)
forests (plant communities)
lichens (Fungi)
modern and contemporary art
national parks
natural landscapes
nature photography
spring (season)
temperate forests
woods (plant communities)

2 Related Resources

Landscape and Nature, Comparative and Historical
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Nature in Photography
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved