PRINT March 1981

Constantin Brancusi’s Photographs

READILY ACKNOWLEDGED AS ONE of the great sculptors of this century, Constantin Brancusi the photographer is less widely known. Paradoxically enough, Brancusi’s output in sculpture is relatively small, comprising only some 215 known works. At least 40 of these—mainly from his early period—have since disappeared or been destroyed, and are known only from photographs.1 It can almost be said that, given the long span of his life, he endeavored to follow Rodin’s advice, “. . . Above all don’t work too quickly,”2 throughout his career. He did leave, however, a very impressive number of photographs: 560 original negatives, the vast majority of which are on glass plates, and about 1250 original prints, some rendered priceless through the disappearance of the negatives. They were found in his atelier at the time of his death in 1957, together with a complete photographic outfit, consisting of

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