Skip to main content

Rosamond Purcell

Rosamond Purcell is a photographer known for her work in natural-history collections and for her re-creation of the seventeenth-century Danish museum of Ole Worm. Her books include Egg & Nest (Harvard, 2008), Owls Head: On the Nature of Lost Things (Quantuck Lane, 2007), Bookworm (Quantuck Lane, 2006), and Dice: Deception, Fate and Rotten Luck (Quantuck Lane, 2002).


Saint Francisco de Paola floating across the water on his cloak. A saint of good works—charitas bonitas—he is carrying flames against his chest, a physical manifestation of his passion for the word of God.

The Stories of Strangers: Mexican Ex-Voto Paintings

Spring 2008 | Profiles

While visiting a church in Guadalupe in 1917, David Alfaro Siquieros, the great muralist painter of the Mexican Revolution, found, “along with broken candelabras and other typical church adornments,” a “true mountain” of small paintings tossed carelessly on the floor. He picked one up. It was “made of paper . . . painted with colored pencils but especially interesting, perhaps more primitive than the others, almost as if executed by a child.” And, thinking he was doing nothing wrong, he took it. A priest, witnessing the scene, shouted, “Thief!”—and armed sacristans dragged him off to the station.



Dislocation on Pacific Coast Highway

Summer 2015 | Photography

We had been going much too fast to make a perfect scan, yet the camera, in attempting to stitch together the vertical slices, had made a very interestingly distorted hash of the scene, one which somehow captured the architecture, the street traffic, and also the uneasy mood of the photographer.