Miss Thompson Seated in Doorway, Taos, New Mexico



Paul Strand, American, 1890-1976


Miss Thompson Seated in Doorway, Taos, New Mexico






Platinum print
4 5/8 x 5 7/8 in. (11.8 x 14.9 cm)

Object Number



As a youth in New York, Strand attended the Ethical Culture School where Louis Hine, the social documentary photographer, taught science and photography. Hine often took his students to Alfred Stieglitz's 291 gallery to view some of the most progressive art of the day, including photography. There Strand was especially impressed by an exhibition of Hill and Adamson's portraits. He later praised the two men for their "utterly personal control of a machine, the camera." By 1916 Strand's own work was being exhibited by Stieglitz, and he had embraced the principles of "straight photography" in which, as he said, "honesty no less than intensity of vision" could be expressed "without tricks of process or manipulation."

In the early 1930s Strand and his wife Rebecca Salsbury spent their summers working in Taos, New Mexico where there was an artists' colony that included the painters Georgia O'Keeffe and John Marin. Strand turned his camera to the adobe architecture, the ghost towns, and the stark landscape of the American southwest, recording it all with the lucid integrity for which he had become well-known. In the summer of 1932, his last at Taos, Strand made many portraits of his friends, including a series of seventeen of Nancy Thompson as a birthday present for her mother Cornelia. The direct engagement between the girl and the camera and the subtle gradation of tones, enhanced by being printed on platinum paper, are qualities typical of Strand's portraits.

Credit Line

Gift of Sarit Rozycki and Robert Cromwell


The Objective Eye: Photographs from the Rozycki-Cromwell Collection, Michael C. Carlos Museum, August 10, 2005 - January 15, 2006|
Modern and Contemporary Masters: Highlights from the Works on Paper Collection, Michael C. Carlos Museum, January 24 - May 17, 2009
MCCM Newsletter, March - May, 2004.|
MCCM Newsletter, September - November 2005.|
Michael C. Carlos Museum: Highlights of the Collections (Atlanta: Michael C. Carlos Museum, 2011), 150-51.


© Paul Strand Archive, Aperture Fondation. Image courtesy of the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Bruce M. White, 2006.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or mccm.collections.services@emory.edu. Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View



Paul Strand, American, 1890-1976, “Miss Thompson Seated in Doorway, Taos, New Mexico,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed September 18, 2020, http://carlos.digitalscholarship.emory.edu/items/show/7894.

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