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Ruth Bernhard 
Two Shells 
Gelatin silver print 
11 x 14 ins 
Private collection of Rod Mann 
Collector notes (Accessed: 27 April 2016)
Another period or theme for Ruth before the nude became so prominent in her work was shells: She was swept away for awhile by shells. It started in New York. One winter in the early 40's her designer father, Lucian Bernhard, told her she looked pale and gave her the money to travel to a seashell show in Florida on Sanibel Island near Ft. Meyers. Ruth must have said, "OK, whatever you say, Papa". She took the prints she had to Florida and after meeting a couple key people was offered a spot in the show. She loved the whole atmosphere and a lady stopped by and bought everything she had for $25 a print (which was big money, then). It was the widow of Thomas Edison, who had an estate called the Seminole Lodge in that area. As a warning here, Ruth wrote to me on the back of this print, "A bad print!". What was she talking about? Probably the hot spot in the middle. She believed the print finalized the idea and thought this one failed to do that. 

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