Eva Watson-Schütze


The Rose is one of Eva Watson-Schütze’s most famous photographs, published along with Head of a Young Girl (seen below) in the January 1905 edition of Camera Work. In 1905, Watson-Schütze’s colleague Joseph Keiley also published an article in Camera Work extolling her as a strong example of a Pictorialist photographer.This insistently vertical and narrow photograph has theatrical and allegorical aspects, as well as a timeless feel. The woman’s elaborate gown with two distinctive embroidered panels feels like it belongs to a long-ago era or as if it is a costume. Watson-Schütze draws an allegorical equivalence between the woman and the rose, made emphatic by the photograph’s title. The unusually long rose stem also helps to reinforce the verticality of the composition.

Watson-Schütze has roots in this region. Born in New Jersey, she studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia. She was among the founding members of the Photo-Secession.

Like The Rose (seen above), this diaphanous image of a young woman by Eva Watson-Schütze was published in Camera Work in 1905. The woman’s distinctive headdress helps to emphasize that her upper torso appears to be nude—though the focus is so soft that it is difficult to discern aspects of this image clearly. In this particularly sensual and sensitive photograph the figure’s arms and veil dissolve and blend with the background, and all the details of the image are muted and indistinct.