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Between and Mortarboard

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Accession Number


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
Presented as a diptych, this photograph displays two closeup views of dried poppy seed-pods.   The pod on the left appears hard and leathery, a ring of holes visible beneath a raised crown.  On the right, the pod’s crown is lowered, and covers its top in a carapace-like crest. Positioned as if heads in a portrait, these botanical specimens possess an uncanny anthropomorphic quality. With a handmade camera of his own devising, Blossfeldt created this photograph using a powerful magnifying lens, allowing him to render the textures of the tiny pods in crisp detail.  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 photograph displays two closeup views of dried poppy seed-pods positioned against a light background.

Primary Object Classification

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

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Papaver (genus)
botanical illustrations
flowers (plant components)
plant material
pod (seed material)
scientific illustrations (images)
seed (material)
seeds (plant components)

3 Related Resources

Nature in Photography
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)
C2 - Barry - Florilegium (checklist draft one)
(Part of: Curriculum/Collection)

& Author Notes

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