© Aperture Foundation, Inc., Paul Strand Archive, 2022


Margaret MacLean, Isle of South Uist, Outer Hebrides
Paul Strand
Gelatin silver print on baryta paper
Printed area size: 14,6 × 11,5 cm
Born: Nueva York, 1890
Died: Orgeval, Francia, 1976
Hebridas (1954) (Paul Strand)

© Aperture Foundation, Inc., Paul Strand Archive, 2022


In 1954 Paul Strand and his wife Hazel traveled to the Outer Hebrides Islands in Scotland, a remote and isolated region located in the northwestern corner of the country. As he had done in his previous projects, Strand spent nearly three months taking photographs for his next book. In this case, the project was inspired by the work of North American ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax, who during his BBC program presented songs from remote places such as the Isle of South Uist, where genuine popular traditions were still preserved. When Strand arrived to the island he photographed several of the musicians he had discussed with Lomax, as well as the peculiarities of island life; its houses, the landscape and the close relationship the region had with the sea. Some of the photographs appeared for the first time in a special supplement for issue number 2 of Picture Post, a popular British weekly periodical, on January 2, 1955. The book, including texts by Basil Davidson, would be published until 1962.

Paul Strand’s work required much patience and effort. In the open-air portraits he made, such as this one depicting Margaret MacLean, he proceeded like a studio photographer; without fear of technical instrumentation, the artifice of staging, and time spent waiting for adequate lighting. This was a world away from his initial portraits in New York and his photojournalistic ways.


© Aperture Foundation, Inc., Paul Strand Archive, 2022

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