Signed in pencil on mount below photo l.r.: Ansel Adams Inscribed verso center: [stamped] Photograph by Ansel Adams/ Museum Set Edition/ Route I Box 181 Carmel, California 93923/ [handwritten in ink] Alfred Stieglitz and painting by Georgia O'Keefe/ at An American Place, New York City/ [stamped] Negative made [handwritten in ink] 1944 [stamped] Print made [handwritten in ink] 1981/ [stamped] Identification number [handwritten in ink] 1312
This ceiling boss features four faces with traces of paint that are arranged in a radial pattern with the crowns of their heads converging on a single, central point. Two of the faces are female, identifiable by the wimples worn on their heads, while the other two, wearing small pointed caps and sporting beards, are male. The symmetrical regularity of the piece is counterbalanced by subtle asymmetries introduced by differences in detail and the sequence of facial types.
This architectural boss decorated with four faces was originally placed in the crown of a ceiling vault at the point where the ribs of the vault met. The arrangement of the four faces would have reinforced the expansive radial pattern formed by the ribs while the boss itself would have simultaneously emphasized the center of the vault.