The Last Furrow

From Pictorial Artistry: The Dramatization of the Beautiful in Photography
"The excitement was over, the horses and plow reached the crest of the hill and were going homeward, the close of the day. The animals tired, the farmer worn out, the clouds and the world rush on. “The Last Furrow.”
The excited people in the road took it good naturedly and went off happily. “Good bye, farmer”, I called to him. “I’ll send you a picture soon”. And I did.
“Onward” and “The Last Furrow” are good representations of the steelyard composition. The opposing moods, as explained in the story of “Onward” express the utmost drama in picture making and it can be well seen that in after treatment, many things had to be done to carry out the thought and impression of the unusual settings. Whereas “Onward” represents more the modern treatment and idea of power, angle and action, “The Last Furrow” reminds one of the more lyrical and peaceful conception one finds in paintings of the past. It must be left to the taste and emotional reaction of the beholder as to preference. Both pictures show clearly the creative work possible and that Photography differs from the other Arts only in the medium used.
Technical Problems:
The sky in either picture needed emphasis and extra clouds in places in order to carry on the respective movements. Photographing almost dead into the sun at 4 p.m. left the film practically without detail in the shadows. So, retouching became an important factor. Reduction of sky in both films was also needed for lack of filter effectiveness. In “Onward”, the hill in front of the horses was raised to lead upward, and in the “Last Furrow” it was etched off to lead downward.
Data: For “The Last Furrow” and “Onward”
Camera: Linhof 9x12cm
Lens: Zeiss Tessar
Stop: f.8
Filter: Medium Yellow
Film: Agfa Superpan
Exposure: 1/200, in hand
Print: Tuma Gas, direct"
by Adolf Fassbender, 1937
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
before 1937
Fassbender, Adolf
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
image: 8 1/8 in x 10 3/8 in; 20.6375 cm x 26.3525 cm
place made
United States: Pennsylvania
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Adolf Fassbender, Pictorial Artistry
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Adolf Fassbender, Pictorial Artistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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