- Martha A. Sandweiss
(b Colorado Springs, CO, April 20, 1891; d Santa Fe, NM, Nov 30, 1979).
American photographer. Although she accepted commercial assignments, such as portraiture and architectural work, she was committed to chronicling the people and land of the Southwest. After studying photography in New York between 1916 and 1918 under Clarence H. White, she returned to Colorado. Through most of the 1920s she followed the romantic soft-focus tradition of her teacher and the pictorialists. In 1931 she was introduced to the Navajo community at Red Rock, AZ, by her lifelong friend Elizabeth Forster. She began to make a lasting document of the land and people that she found around her. Her style changed, her photographs becoming increasingly hard-edged, recording the culture of the Navajo and their relationship to the land in a straightforward, empathetic manner. Two decades of this work culminated in the publication of The Enduring Navaho.
Gilpin distinguished herself from many of her contemporaries by continuing to use platinum printing paper, which gave her prints a rich tonal quality, and by her devotion to landscape photography, a genre pursued by few other women. Her other publications include ...