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Church Gateway, Hidalgo, Mexico

Paul Strand, American, 1890–1976
Platinum print
Place depicted
Hidalgo, México, North and Central America
Current Location
Not on view
image: 9 5/8 x 7 5/8 in. (24.4 x 19.4 cm)
sheet: 9 5/8 x 7 5/8 in. (24.4 x 19.4 cm)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
© Aperture Foundation Inc., Paul Strand Archive
Object Number
Nineteen thirty-three was a time of change for Paul Strand. Separating from his wife Rebecca and severing his ties with his longtime friend and mentor Alfred Stieglitz, he left America for Mexico and traveled for two years through the country’s numerous small villages. For this image, Strand utilizes a Mission-style archway as a framing device. The structure solidly grounds the image while also providing a glimpse into the interior courtyard. He conveys a sense of the heaviness in the stone and adobe material, as well as the atmosphere. “The weight and sense of air is most important,” Strand once said. Throughout his career, he favored the platinum printing process, which was revered for its unparalleled richness of tone. In this particular image, the rendering of detail in the shadowed areas is exemplary. Yet, platinum was so expensive that Strand could only afford to use it for what he considered to be his very best images.
- 1976
Paul Strand (d. 1976), Orgeval, France

Michael E. Hoffman, representing the Estate of Paul Strand, Millerton, NY [1]

1978 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Michael E. Hoffman [2]

[1] Per note at the bottom of the invoice dated July 26, 1978, Michael E. Hoffman was the agent for the Estate of Paul Strand and Hazel Strand [SLAM document files].
[2] See note [1]. Minutes of the Acquisitions Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, July 13, 1978.
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