Marie Cosindas made a big splash in 1966. That was the year that a solo exhibition of her color photographs opened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and then traveled to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and to the Art Institute of Chicago the following year. In the catalog, John Szarkowski wrote that her photographs were “as Marianne Moore said poems should be—imaginary gardens with real toads in them.” The exhibitions brought her considerable recognition, and her work was published throughout the 1960s and ’70 s in a diverse range of magazines, from Camera and Aperture to Ladies’ Home Journal and Newsweek. Life featured her work four times between 1968 and 1976, and in his introduction to the 1978 monograph Marie Cosindas: Color Photographs, novelist Tom Wolfe—who had been one of her portrait subjects—noted, “By 1968 she was one of the best-known photographers in the United States.” But her fame subsided in the 1980s, and today her place in the history of photography is often overlooked. Why? Perhaps it is because her work has always been an anomaly.
Text courtesy of Aperature