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This image of a steer skull seems straightforward, but it generated enormous controversy at the time. Can you imagine why?

Image of steer skull sitting on parched earth.  Image has three links that are discussed in the text below. Arthur Rothstein came upon this bleached steer skull and moved it around, taking five different pictures. By repositioning the skull, Rothstein was able to create a life-like shadow that deepens the tragic scene.  The parched earth of the South Dakota Badlands suggests a lush American landscape gone awry, but Rothstein relocated the skull onto this patch of caked dirt.

1. Arthur Rothstein came upon this bleached steer skull and moved it around, taking five different pictures.

2. By repositioning the skull, Rothstein was able to create a life-like shadow that deepens the tragic scene.

3.The parched earth of the South Dakota Badlands suggests a lush American landscape gone awry, but Rothstein relocated the skull onto this patch of caked dirt.


Something More

Title: The bleached skull of a steer on the dry sun-baked earth of the South Dakota Badlands
Artist: Arthur Rothstein
Date: May, 1936


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