Harry Crosby | photographs

Sun-worshipping sybarite Harry Crosby was best known as a poet and publisher, but in the last year or so of his brief life he also experimented with photography. “More often than not,” notes his biographer, Geoffrey Wolff, “the subjects he chose were the artifacts of technology. His impulse was invariably toward the abstract, but usually the object abstracted was an airplane engine, automobile exhaust pipe, bulldozer or crane.” Stylistically the handful of examples we have reflect avant-garde aesthetics of the 1920s – a bit of Surrealism here, a touch of Neue Sachlichkeit there – and suggest this may have been a fruitful sideline had Crosby not checked out prematurely from New York’s Hotel des Artistes in 1929.

Crosby 1
Crosby 2 Crosby 3
Crosby 4
Crosby 5
Crosby 6

Further reading
Lapses into piety
Always yes
For eternity
Pearls: Harry Crosby



  1. I’m actually reading Black Sun right now but these pics are not in the book.so it’s great to see them!

  2. Dear James, Just discovered Strange Flowers. Its great what you are doing and look forward to following it. You might be interested in Saint Lucy, my website devoted to writing about photography and contemporary art. I alerted people to Strange Flowers on the Saint Lucy facebook page yesterday. Thanks for your work.
    best, Mark

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