Doris Ulmann (American, 1882-1934) From Roll, Jordan, Roll, Platinum prints and Portrait of Doris Ulmann by an unknown photographer, gelatin silver print, all ca. 1929, George Eastman House. 

Doris Ulmann became interested in pictorialist photography after her studies in psychology and early education at the Ethical Culture Fieldston School. She is best known for the work produced to illustrate Roll, Jordan, Roll, a book by novelist Julia Peterkin about the Gullah, a vanishing culture of African Americans in the islands and coastal areas of South Carolina.

In discussing her work, Ulmann said, “A face that has the marks of having lived intensely, that expresses some phase of life, some dominant quality or intellectual power, constitutes for me an interesting face. For this reason the face of an older person, perhaps not beautiful in the strictest sense, is usually more appealing than the face of a younger person who has scarcely been touched by life.”

 

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