Adiantum pedatum

Accession Number

Adiantum pedatum

Karl Blossfeldt

Artist Nationality
German (culture or style)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
rotogravure on paper

9 5/16 in x 12 1/8 in (23.65 cm x 30.8 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Eeta Gershow

Subject matter
Displayed as a diptych, these photographs show close-up views of a grouping of young ferns.  The delicate plants rise upwards against a flat, white background, their sinuous stems curling into intricate spirals at their tops. The group on the right consists of three ferns, their stems bristling with spikey leaves. The pair on the left cross one another, and then meet again near their tops, their two heads nuzzling against one another. The positioning and dynamism of the plants’ organic forms lends them an uncannily expressive quality, animal-like and graceful. With a handmade camera of his own devising, Blossfeldt was able to enlarge this view of them twelve times over, creating a sharp and richly detailed image. Printed in matte, green-black tones, this image originally appeared in the books, Urformen der Kunst  (1928) and Art Forms in Nature (1929), and accompanied other closeup views of botanical specimens. 

Physical Description
Presented as a diptych, this plate presents two closeup views of a grouping of young ferns positioned against a light background.  

Primary Object Classification

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

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Pteridophyta (division)
flowers (plant components)
groupings of plants
natural history specimens
plant material
scientific illustrations (images)

5 Related Resources

Nature in Photography
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
Family Art High-Contrast Photography Portfolio 
(Part of: Image Portfolios about Photography)
W24 Barry - ENVIRON 244: Art in Nature: Micro to Macro
(Part of: Examples of Online Activities)
CC 2 - MSE and Micro/Macro Worlds - natural structures, self symmetry, biomimicry
(Part of: CC 2 - Materials Science and Engineering)
SP21 Barry - ENVIRON 244: Art in Nature: Micro to Macro
(Part of: Examples of Online Activities)

& Author Notes

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