Near Aspen, Colorado



Michael A. Smith, American, born 1942


Near Aspen, Colorado






Gelatin silver print
13 x 24 15/16 in. (33 x 63.3 cm)

Object Number



Smith, a self-taught photographer, began working with a large format view camera early in his career. Captivated by the clarity and minute detail that can be obtained with contact prints, he continues to use view cameras, moving to larger formats when he wants to make larger images. In 1978 on a picture-taking trip through the American West, he began to use an 8 x 20 inch panoramic camera. At first puzzled about what kind of photographs to make in this new format, he found a book that represented bird songs via graphs showing the progression of notes and intervals across time. Smith realized that he wanted to make photographs "as beautiful as a bird song," and he began to look for similar all-over patterns in the landscape. In composing his pictures he had always been as concerned with the edges as with the center of the frame and had held a preference for a "dense and tangled" texture that would compel the viewer to scan the whole picture from end to end. Thus, the inspiration of bird song together with his interest in abstract form led Smith to create these new documents of the American landscape.
Signed and dated in graphite on mount front
Written in graphite on mount verso, "82-9109-23/23 #29, Near Aspen Colorado, 1991."

Credit Line

Gift of Sarit Rozycki and Robert Cromwell


The Objective Eye: Photographs from the Rozycki-Cromwell Collection, Michael C. Carlos Museum, August 10, 2005 - January 15, 2006|
Wondrous Transformations: Photographs by Michael A. Smith, Michael C. Carlos Museum, September 16, 2010 - January 16, 2011
MCCM Newsletter, March - May, 2004.


© Michael A. Smith. Image courtesy of the Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University. Photo by Michael McKelvey.
This image is provided by the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, who retains all rights in it. This image is made available for limited non-commercial, educational, and personal use only, or for fair use as defined by United States law. For all other uses, please contact the Michael C. Carlos Museum Office of Collections Services at +1(404) 727-4282 or Users must cite the author and source of the image as they would material from any printed work, but not in any way that implies endorsement of the user or the user's use of the image. Users may not remove any copyright, trademark, or other proprietary notices, including without limitation attribution information, credits, and copyright notices that have been placed on or near the image by the Museum. The Museum assumes no responsibility for royalties or fees claimed by the artist or third parties. The User agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Emory University, its Michael C. Carlos Museum, its agents, employees, faculty members, students and trustees from and against any and all claims, losses, actions, damages, expenses, and all other liabilities, including but not limited to attorney’s fees, directly or indirectly arising out of or resulting from its use of photographic images for which permission is granted hereunder.

On View



Michael A. Smith, American, born 1942, “Near Aspen, Colorado,” Michael C. Carlos Museum Collections Online, accessed December 14, 2018,

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