Gorgeous Minimalist Flower X-Rays From The 1930s

“Flowers are the expression of the love life of plants” - Dain L. Tasker

Flower X-Rays: In the 1930s, Dain L. Tasker 1872 – 1964, chief radiologist at Los Angeles’ Wilshire Hospital, investigated the anatomy of plants with an X-ray machine. His minamalist flower X-Rays are extraordinary. Color and context and reduced to the simple essence.

 

Tasker-Fuschia-1938, Dr. Dain L. Tasker, Flower X-Rays,Los Angeles

Flower X-Rays: Fuschia (1938), vintage gelatin silver print, 9 1:2 x 7 1:4 inches

 

Photographer Will Connell, a teacher at Pasadena’s Art Center College of Design, helped Tasker print his pictures and show his unusual work in photography exhibitions. Tasker’s work appeared in U.S. Camera (October 1939) and Popular Photography (March 1942). And then, well, not much more is known of him.

 

Dr.-Dain-L.-Tasker-Peruvian-Daffodil-1938

“Peruvian Daffodil,” 1938, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 1:2 x 9 1:4 inches

Dr. Dain L. Tasker, Flower X-Rays,Los Angeles

Gladiolas, Dr. Dain L. Tasker, Flower X-Rays,Los Angeles

Tasker-Philodendron-1938

“Philodendron,” 1938, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 3:8 x 9 inches

Dr.-Dain-L.-Tasker-Fleur-de-lis-1936

Dr.-Dain-L.-Tasker-Fleur-de-lis-1936

Tasker-Lotus-An-X-ray-c.-1930s

Tasker-Lotus-An-X-ray-c.-1930s, “Lotus,” ca. 1930, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 1:4 x 9 1:4 inches.

Tasker-X-ray-of-a-Lily-c.-1930s

Tasker-X-ray-of-a-Lily-c.-1930s

Dr.-Dain-L.-Tasker-Eucalyptus-X-ray-c.1930s

Dain L. Tasker, Eucalyptus X-ray

Campenula, c.1930, Tasker-X-ray

Campenula, c.1930

Tasker-X-ray, Dain L. Tasker, Eucalyptus

X-Ray of Anthuriums, Dain L. Tasker, Eucalyptus

Wisteria, 1930, Dain L. Tasker

Wisteria, 1930

“A Rose,” 1936, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 1:4 x 9 1:8 inches

“A Rose,” 1936, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 1:4 x 9 1:8 inches

“Yellow Calla Lily,” 1938, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 3:8 x 9 1:4 inches

“Yellow Calla Lily,” 1938, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 3:8 x 9 1:4 inches

“untitled, (lily),” 1932, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 1/4 x 9 inches

“untitled, (lily),” 1932, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 1/4 x 9 inches

“Delphinium,” 1938, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 1:4 x 9 1:8 inches

“Delphinium,” 1938, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 1:4 x 9 1:8 inches

“Tulip,” 1931, vintage gelatin silver print, 9 x 7 inches

“Tulip,” 1931, vintage gelatin silver print, 9 x 7 inches

Dr.-Dain-L.-Tasker-California-Holly-1937

“California Holly,” 1937, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 3:8 x 9 1:8 inches

Self-portrait, radiograph, circa 1930s. In this contact print created from X-ray film, you can see the holes created by the film holder. (Dr. Dain L. Tasker)

Self-portrait, radiograph, circa 1930s. In this contact print created from X-ray film, you can see the holes created by the film holder. (Dr. Dain L. Tasker)

A selection of Tasker’s X-ray images can be seen in  “Floral Studies” at Joseph Bellows Gallery in La Jolla, California.