Tree Stump and Vine, Colorado

Paul Strand (American, 1890–1976)


Image: 24.3 x 19.3 cm (9 9/16 x 7 5/8 in.) Sheet: 25.1 x 20.2 cm (9 7/8 x 7 15/16 in.) Mount: 25.8 x 20.5 cm (10 3/16 x 8 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Photograph, platinum print

Not On View


Americas, Photography



During the 1920s, American photographer Paul Strand began experimenting with close-up views of natural subjects, including mushrooms, rocks, and, in this case, a vine and tree stump. Working with a large-format camera in natural light and extremely sharp focus, Strand found in these intimate images fascinating microcosms of the larger world around him. Like Alfred Stieglitz’s cloud pictures and Edward Weston’s photographs of shells from the same period, his close-up studies push the simplification of natural form to its limit without ever becoming purely abstract. Here, the artist seems to transform the branch of thorns into a vivid bolt of lightning and the weathered bark into the waves of a stormy sea.


Verso: in pencil, "Paul Strand HS."


Artist's estate; purchased December 1977.

Credit Line

Sophie M. Friedman Fund


© Aperture Foundation, Inc, Paul Strand Archive