Carlotta Corpron American, 1901-1988

For most people, photography, or the camera, is just something that can record an event, a situation, or a scene. At first, I took pictures all over of the things that everybody photographs. I liked them, but I still had the feeling that they were not quite my own. Somebody with the same camera and the same lighting could have taken the same picture. But I want my photographs to be mine, I want to feel that I am the one who saw them. I think that's why I went into the kind of photography I did, because I had this intense desire to create with light.
- Carlotta Corpron, 1980

Carlotta Corpron (December 9, 1901 – April 17, 1988) was an American photographer known for her abstract compositions featuring light and reflections, made mostly during the 1940s and 1950s. She is considered a pioneer of American abstract photography and a key figure in Bauhaus-influenced photography in Texas.


From the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth: Carlotta Corpron had a brief but important career as an artist and a decades-long impact as a professor at Texas State College for Women (now Texas Woman’s University). In the 1930s and ‘40s she experimented with light, influenced by the ideals of the Bauhaus and the Institute of Design as brought to Denton, Texas, by László Moholy-Nagyand György Kepes. Her early photographs investigated how light transforms natural objects, but in later projects she took light itself as her subject, capturing its reflection and refraction in abstract compositions that sometimes involved cropping or combining multiple negatives. Corpron bequeathed her archive to the museum, which holds 138 prints, over 800 negatives, and the Carlotta Corpron Papers.