As photography matured into an art form, it retained its fascination with plants. In the 1920s, Edward Weston’s encounter with the maguey cactus on a trip to Mexico led to his portraits of peppers, eggplants, and cabbage leaves draped like ball gowns, all on black backgrounds and as voluptuous as his famous nudes. Weston’s friend Imogen Cunningham shot blooms so closely they appear as alien life-forms. In Urformen der Kunst (archetypes of art), a book of plant photographs published in 1928, German sculptor Karl Blossfeldt put nature at the root of all aesthetics.
Above: Quince Three.