Edward Steichen (American, b. Luxembourg 1879-1973) Frances Farmer, Sept. 21, 1937, Dye Transfer print, Bequest of Edward Steichen under the direction of Joanna T. Steichen, © Estate of Edward Steichen, George Eastman House.

Frances Farmer (American, 1913–1970) was an actress of stage and screen. While she is best known for the many sensationalized and fictional accounts of her life, and especially her involuntary commitment to a mental hospital, she was also known for her independent spirit and for valuing talent over glamour. This striking portrait by Edward Steichen was taken in 1937 after she took a leave from Hollywood to do summer stock theater in Westchester, New York. 

This photograph is on view in The Gender Show at George Eastman House through October 13, 2013!