Fantastic 1940s Photography by Carlotta Corpron

Carlotta Corpron was born in Blue Earth, Minnesota, but spent fifteen years of her youth in India. She returned to the United States in 1920 to earn degrees in art education at Michigan State Normal College and Columbia University, and was first introduced to photography in 1933.

Of particular note are Corpron’s early light drawings, made by tracking moving light at amusement parks–radiant images of wild edges and rhythmic lines–and her “space compositions,” which employed eggs and shells. Corpron also made “fluid light designs” examining reflections on plastic materials; “light follows form” studies of sculpture; abstractions of light flowing through glass; and solarizations of flowers and portraits.

Corpron’s experiments with light are among the most intriguing abstract photographic works from her day, sharing as they do the concerns of her predecessors Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray, and Alvin Langdon Coburn.

Her work is significant for its inventive and resolutely independent exploration of the aesthetic possibilities of light and space. Wrought from simple materials and the free play of imagination, Corpron’s light abstractions are increasingly admired (source).


Carlotta Corpron, Solarized Portrait of Ray Ann, 1949 via


Carlotta Corpron, Ray Ann with Amaryllis, 1945 via


Carlotta Corpron, Solarized Calla Lilies, 1948 via


Carlotta Corpron, Nature Dancer, 1943 via


Carlotta Corpon, Space Composition with Chambered Nautilus, 1948 via


Carlotta Corpron, Chambered Nautilus with Created Light and Shadow, 1948 via