William Mortensen (1897 – 1965) Courtney Crawford with Masks circa 1924

“we are enabled to lessen their power over us”. He added: “When the world of the grotesque is known and appreciated, the real world becomes vastly more significant.” William Mortensen


Ken Weaver Incubus 2017 ….. William Mortensen “The Incubus” from “west of Zanzibar” circa 1924

“William Mortensen’s 20th Century Photos Are Some Of The Most Beautifully Terrifying Images Ever Made” – Huffington Post

“For us, William Mortensen was the antichrist.” – Ansel Adams

November 2017 – Stephen Romano Gallery is thrilled to announce the exhibition “WILLIAM MORTENSEN + THE COVEN OF THE SIBYLLINE” in association with The Living Gallery Outpost in New York City’s East Village,

with an opening reception Saturday November 25th from 6 – 9pm.


William Mortensen “The Witch Lady with her Scrying Bowl and Skull” circa 1924 …. Alexis Palmer Karl “Scrying Bowl” Found antlers, Obsidian , calabash bowl, water 2017


The exhibition will feature newly discovered and never seen before works by American cultural treasure WILLIAM MORTENSEN, also renowned as the Father of Pictorialism, an international style and aesthetic movement that dominated photography during the later 19th and early 20th centuries. The art of William Mortensen has in recent years seen a revival as the artist has been celebrated as seminal in the art of manipulated photography and gothic subject matter.


William Mortensen “The Make Believe Lady” circa 1924 – Josh Stebbins “Mistress of Will” 2017


The exhibition will also feature newly created works by contemporary artists Josh Stebbins, Barry William Hale, Nyahzul C Blanco, Alexis Karl, Kim Bo Yung, Ken Weaver, Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos, Anaïs Delsol, Zach Brown, Alessandro Keegan, Caitlin McDonagh, Vivien Masters, Tiffany Hsiang and Tine Kindermann. Each artist has paid tribute to the art of William Mortensen by creating a work of their own which has been inspired by a work by Mortensen.



Most of the works by Mortensen in the exhibition are newly discovered, from the collection of his close friend and associate Quenton Bredt (to whom Mortensen bequeathed his own personal collection) and from the estate of his first wife Courtney Crawford, and have never been exhibited in public until now.


William Mortensen “The Inquisition” from “A Pictorial Compendium of Witchcraft” series circa 1926 ….. Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos “Dark vision” 2017


Full list of Artist include:

Josh Stebbins, Alexis Karl, Kim Bo Yung, Anaïs Delsol, Nyahzul C Blanco, Luciana Lupe Vasconcelos, Caitlin McDonagh, Vivien Masters, Tiffany Hsiang, Tine Kindermann, Barry William Hale, Ken Weaver, Zach Brown, Alessandro Keegan, Nyahzul C Blanco, Vivien Masters,  Caitlin McDonagh,  Zach Brown, , Tiffany Hsiang and Tine Kindermann.


Kim Bo Yung “Salome” pencil on paper —- William Mortensen “Salome”, circa 1930 detail


The Living Gallery Outpost

246 EAST 4th Street (Avenue B and E4th) EAST VILLAGE NEW YORK

Opening reception SATURDAY NOVEMBER 25 2017 6 – 9 pm

full article see it in : LEXICON MAGazine



William Mortensen “TRAGEDY” circa 1930 — Josh Stebbins’s “TRAGEDY” in homage to William Mortensen, 2017


William Mortensen Sappho circa 1924


William Mortensen The Old Hag circa 1928, Caprice Vanois circa 1926



MARIE ANTOINETTE circa 1924 – 26

Barry William Hale


  1. What an amazing feature..! I am so thrilled to be a part of this show.
    Zeroequalstwo is fast becoming my favorite magazine..I love that I can find everything from magical sangria to articles on occult influences on popular culture. xo

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