Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz, die seun van 'n wolhandelaar, is gebore in Hoboken, New Jersey, op 1 Januarie 1864. Stieglitz is na Europa gestuur om sy opleiding te voltooi en studeer aan die Berlynse Polytechnic in 1883 toe hy fotografie ontdek. Hy het oorgegaan van meganiese ingenieurswese na fotochemie en begin foto's neem. Stieglitz het baie belanggestel in die geskiedenis van fotografie en het oor die volgende paar jaar 'n leidende gesag op die gebied geword.

Stieglitz keer in 1890 terug na die Verenigde State, waar hy 'n reputasie verkry as 'n fotograaf wat graag tegniese probleme wou oorkom. Dit sluit in die neem van die eerste suksesvolle foto's in sneeu en reën. Hy het ook met flitspoeier geëksperimenteer sodat hy snags foto's kon neem.

Stieglitz was die invloedrykste lid van die Club for American Amateur Photographers. 'N Lid van die Camera Club wat hy saam met Clarence White, Edward Steichen, Alvin Langdon Coburn en Gertrude Kasebier in 1902 aangesluit het om die Photosecession Group te vorm.

Stieglitz het ook die kwartaalliks geredigeer Kamerawerk(1903-17), waar hy passievol voorstaan ​​dat foto's verdien om as kunswerke beoordeel te word. Stieglitz het die Little Gallery in Fifth Avenue geopen om die werk van fotograwe soos Paul Strand en Edward Steichen te bevorder. Hy was ook bestuurder van die Intimate Gallery (1925-29) en An American Place (1929-46). Alfred Stieglitz is op 13 Julie 1946 oorlede.


Kunsgeskiedenis Nuus

Alfred Stieglitz is bekend vir sy bekendstelling van moderne Europese kuns in Amerika en vir sy ondersteuning van kontemporêre Amerikaanse kunstenaars, maar hy was in die eerste plek 'n fotograaf. Sy foto's, wat meer as vyf dekades van die 1880's tot die 1930's strek, word wyd gevier as een van die mees oortuigende wat ooit gemaak is. Alfred Stieglitz: Bekend en onbekend, te sien by die National Gallery of Art West Building, 2 Junie tot 2 September 2002, het 102 van Stieglitz se foto's uit die National Gallery se versameling aangebied. Die uitstalling bevat die hele omvang en evolusie van sy kuns en bevat baie werke wat die afgelope vyftig jaar nie uitgestal is nie. Dit het minder bekende beelde beklemtoon om aan te toon hoe dit ons begrip van die ontwikkeling van sy kuns en sy bydraes tot fotografie uit die 20ste eeu vergroot.

Die uitstalling, wat die hoogtepunt was van 'n meerjarige projek op Stieglitz in die National Gallery, vier ook die publikasie van Alfred Stieglitz: Die sleutelstel, 'n definitiewe studie van hierdie belangrike figuur in die geskiedenis van fotografie. Die belangrikste stel foto's van Stieglitz, wat bestaan ​​uit 1 642 foto's, is in 1949 en 1980 deur Georgia O'Keeffe aan die National Gallery geskenk en bevat die beste voorbeeld van elke gemonteerde afdruk wat in die besit van Stieglitz was tydens sy dood. Dit was die grootste en omvattendste versameling van sy werk wat bestaan ​​het.

Die uitstalling, wat chronologies gereël is, bied nuwe insigte oor die ontwikkeling van Stieglitz se kuns en demonstreer hoe hy voortdurend die tegniese en ekspressiewe vermoëns van die medium ondersoek het.

Stieglitz, gebore in Hoboken, New Jersey, het begin fotografeer, waarskynlik in 1884, terwyl hy 'n student in Duitsland was. Die medium betower en daag hom uit soos niks anders voorheen gedoen het nie. Sy onderwyser, Hermann Wilhelm Vogel, 'n hoogs gerespekteerde fotograaf, wetenskaplike en professor aan die Königliche Technische Hochschule in Berlyn, het 'n groot waardering vir die wetenskap en praktyk van die proses by hom ingeboesem. In opdrag van Vogel het Stieglitz 'n wye verskeidenheid onderwerpe aangepak en die verhouding van lig tot fotografie volledig ondersoek.

Hierdie tegniese eksperimente, insluitend 'N Straat in Sterzing, Tirol (1890), te sien in die uitstalling, is een van sy mees vermagde vroeë werke. Stieglitz is ook beïnvloed deur hedendaagse Duitse, Nederlandse en Oostenrykse skilders, waarvan verskeie goeie vriende was. Hy het daarna gestreef om hul anekdotiese, narratiewe en skilderagtige onderwerp te herhaal in foto's soos Die Oes, Mittenwald (1886), ook te sien in die uitstalling.

In die herfs van 1890, na nege jaar se studie in Duitsland, keer die 26-jarige Stieglitz terug na New York en vestig hy hom vinnig as 'n toonaangewende artistieke fotograaf. Hy het voortgegaan om inspirasie te put uit hedendaagse skilders, maar sy omvang het aansienlik uitgebrei tot die Franse kunstenaar Jean-François Millet, die Duitser Max Liebermann en die Amerikaner James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Net soos ander fotograwe van die tyd, het Stieglitz 'n klein handkamera begin gebruik, maar hy het alle beskikbare middele gebruik om sy beelde, soos hy geskryf het, te omskep van blote "foto's [in] foto's". Hy het sy negatiewe radikaal gesny om afleidende en vreemde elemente uit sy komposisies uit te skakel. Hy het dit ook gereeld vergroot om afdrukke van so groot as een-en-twintig sentimeter breed te maak en om gedeeltes van die foto's maklik te retoucheer. Hy het die materiaal en palet van 'n skilder verder toegepas, en hy het ook koolstof-, gom -bichromaat- en fotogravure -afdrukke gemaak in houtskoolgrys en bruin, selfs rooi, groen en blou kleure. En hy het sy afgewerkte afdrukke sorgvuldig gemat en ingelys sodat hulle aandag sou trek in die groot internasionale uitstallings.

Verskeie van die foto's, insluitend Winter-vyfde laan (1893),

en 'n nat dag op die boulevard, Parys (1894), was in hul oorspronklike matte en geraam soos Stieglitz dit in die 1890's sou aangebied het.

In 1905 het Stieglitz 'n galery geopen, genaamd 291 (vanaf sy adres op Fifth Avenue in New York), waar hy die werk van sy elite groep artistieke fotograwe, die Photo-Session (wat deur Stieglitz in 1902 gestig is), vertoon het. In 1908, om 'n dialoog tussen hedendaagse fotograwe en skilders te begin, begin hy om die werk van toonaangewende Europese moderniste te wys, waaronder Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso en Constantin Brancusi. Hierdie kunstenaars stel Stieglitz bekend aan nuwe idees oor kleur, vorm en abstraksie wat sy kuns diep beïnvloed het.

In 'n reeks foto's van New York uit 1910, soos Uitwaarts gebind,

en Ou en New New York, Stieglitz laat vaar die sagte fokus van sy werk vanaf die begin van die eeu en onthul die nuwe, sterker gebruik van vorm wat hy by hierdie kunstenaars geleer het.

Stieglitz het sy ondersoek na New York in die lente van 1915 voortgesit in 'n reeks foto's wat uit die agtervenster van 291 gemaak is. Onder invloed van Picasso en Braque wou hy 'n gevoel van driedimensionele ruimte en tradisionele eenpuntperspektief uitskakel. In hierdie presies gekonstrueerde en elegant gerealiseerde foto's het Stieglitz die vliegtuie van die dakke en geboue sorgvuldig ontleed om die fisiese massa van die stad en die sielkundige gewig daarvan te onthul.

Die portrette wat Stieglitz op 291 gemaak het, verteenwoordig 'n aansienlike vooruitgang in sy kuns en demonstreer die dialoog tussen moderne skildery en fotografie wat hy wou bou.

In Marius de Zayas (1913)

en Georgia O'Keeffe (1917) hy het die kunstenaars voor hul eie werke geplaas en die vorms van die doek weergegee in sy eie uitbeeldings daarvan. Betower deur Picasso, wat hy in 1911 ontmoet het en dieselfde jaar en weer in 1915 uitgestal het, neem Stieglitz verskeie vriende en familie voor die werke van die Spaanse kunstenaar, soos byvoorbeeld in Kitty op 291 (1915).

Georgia O'Keeffe, 1918-1921:

Die jare vanaf 1918, toe Georgia O'Keeffe na New York verhuis het, tot 1937, toe Stieglitz sy kamera weggesit het weens swak gesondheid, was die vrugbaarste in sy loopbaan. O'Keeffe het 'n kreatiewe passie in hom geïnspireer wat hy nog nooit geken het nie, en binne die eerste drie jaar wat hulle saam gewoon het, het hy meer as 140 studies van haar gemaak (die sleutelstel bevat 331 foto's van O'Keeffe wat tussen 1917 en 1937 geneem is) ). Hy noem sy foto's van haar 'n 'saamgestelde portret', en sy doel was om nie net sy begrip van O'Keeffe se persoonlikheid te dokumenteer nie, maar ook die groter konsep van 'vrouwees'. Stieglitz het die lesse wat hy geleer het om O'Keeffe te fotografeer, gou toegepas op sy portrette van ander mense.

In sy reeks studies oor Helen Freeman (1921/1922), byvoorbeeld, vorder hy, soos met O'Keeffe, van die formele studies van gesig en skouers na meer intieme foto's, en hy teken ook haar hande op as 'n indeks van haar persoonlikheid.

'N Lighartige, speelse kwaliteit, tesame met 'n meer gewaagde eksperimentering, het Stieglitz se werk in die 1920's betree. Met die sluiting van 291 in 1917, is Stieglitz bevry van sy verantwoordelikhede as galery -direkteur en het hy meer tyd gehad om aan sy eie kuns af te staan. Gedurende die 1920's het hy en O'Keeffe elke jaar 'n paar maande by Lake George deurgebring-sy gesin se somerhuis in die rollende Adirondack-gebergte in New York. Hier het hy die mees amateuristiese aspek van fotografie, die momentopname, kragtig ondersoek. Hierdie gemaklike en spontane komposisies, gemaak met sy klein handvatsels van 4 x 5 of 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 duim, teken die lang, slap somerdae op, soos gesien in

Georgia O'Keeffe en Waldo Frank (1920), Katharine (1921) en Rebecca Salsbury Strand (1922).

In die laat 1910's en vroeë 1920's, aangemoedig deur die werk van Amerikaanse kunstenaars Arthur Dove, John Marin en O'Keeffe, het Stieglitz vir die eerste keer in sy kuns die plattelandse Amerikaanse landskap begin verken en die omliggende uitsigte by die meer geneem. George. Dit was ook gedurende hierdie jare dat Stieglitz sy reeks abstrakte en suggestiewe studies oor wolke gemaak het. Met 'n klein handkamera wat maklik na die hoogtepunt van die lug gerig kon word, het hy foto's gemaak sonder 'n horisonlyn om die kyker te veranker, en sodoende 'n gevoel van desoriëntasie en abstraksie te skep. Hy het daarna gestreef om 'n nuwe taal vir fotografie te maak wat minder afhanklik was van die onderwerp, meer intuïtief en ekspressief was vir 'n bui of emosionele toestand.

In die vroeë 1930's het Stieglitz 'n onderwerp herontdek wat hom gedurende sy loopbaan geïnspireer het-New York City-maar sy foto's daarvan uit hierdie jare het 'n formele sterkte en helderheid in sy vorige werk. Hy is geïnspireer deur die uitsigte vanuit sy vensters hoog in die nuutgeboude Shelton Hotel, waar hy en O'Keeffe van 1925 tot 1936 gewoon het, sowel as uit sy laaste galery, An American Place, in Madison Avenue 509, wat hy onder leiding van van 1929 tot sy dood in 1946.

Op verskillende tye van die dag, met behulp van verskillende lense, het hy die visuele skouspel van die stad wat voortdurend verander, gefotografeer, soos gesien in sy reeks foto's, Vanuit my venster op 'n Amerikaanse plek, geneem van 1930 tot 1932. Toe Stieglitz hierdie foto's uitstal, groepeer hy dit in reekse-waarvan twee in die uitstalling herskep is-wat 'n grafiek toon van die groei van die wolkekrabbers en die meer subtiele, maar voortdurend veranderende patrone van lig en skadu. Maar toe die geboue voltooi was, verloor Stieglitz oor die algemeen belangstelling om dit te fotografeer, omdat die gevoel dat verandering nie meer bestaan ​​nie.

In die vroeë 1930's het O'Keeffe weer verskyn as 'n hoofonderwerp in Stieglitz se kuns, maar die afstand tussen hulle, soos gesien in verskeie studies oor die uitstalling, is duidelik. Met hul metaalglans, diep swartes en ingewikkelde geometrie is hierdie foto's een van sy sterkste portrette van O'Keeffe en ook die mees treffende. Namate hy meer tyd alleen by George -meer deurgebring het, het die plaashuis en die omliggende velde, bome en mere weer die fokus van sy kuns geword. Soos sy foto's van New York uit dieselfde tyd, is dit streng, maar ook stil en intens outobiografiese werke.

Die uitstalling is gereël deur die National Gallery of Art, Washington. Die kurator was Sarah Greenough, die kurator van foto's van die galery en 'n bekende kenner van Alfred Stieglitz. Dit was van 6 Oktober 2002 tot 5 Januarie 2003 te sien in die Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

'N Nuwe uitgawe van die Gallery se bekroonde boek uit 1983 Alfred Stieglitz: Foto's en geskrifte, wat lank reeds uit druk was, is ook uitgereik.


Alfred Stieglitz - Geskiedenis

Die Alfred Stieglitz -versameling en die Art Institute of Chicago

Op 9 Desember 1949 skryf die direkteur van die Art Institute van Chicago, Daniel Catton Rich, aan sy vriend Georgia O'Keeffe, die bekende skilder en weduwee van Alfred Stieglitz: 'Ek is bly om u mee te deel dat die Trustees of the Art Instituut tydens hul onlangse vergadering in November, met groot waardering u wonderlike geskenk van skilderye, beeldhouwerk, tekeninge, etse, afdrukke en foto's aan die Alfred Stieglitz -versameling aanvaar. in totaal byna vierhonderd werke, waaronder 244 foto's, 159 deur Stieglitz self. Dit het die museum se besit van moderne Amerikaanse kuns geweldig toegevoeg en die versameling foto's heeltemal verander.

As 'n geheel beskou, weerspieël die Stieglitz -versameling die enorme diversiteit van Alfred Stieglitz se aktiwiteite. Deur sy eie toegewyde fotografiese werk in die loop van 'n halwe eeu het die tydskrifte wat hy geredigeer en gepubliseer het (soos Kamera -aantekeninge en Kamerawerk) en die baanbrekende uitstallings wat hy in sy galerye in New York (waaronder 291, die Intimate Gallery en An American Place) georganiseer het, het Stieglitz fotografie onvermoeid bevorder as 'n kunswerk, wat eers om hom vergader het, eers piktorialistiese en daarna modernistiese fotograwe. Hy was ongeëwenaard, beide in sy voorspraak vir moderne Europese skilders en beeldhouers - waaronder Paul Cézanne, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso en Auguste Rodin - en ter ondersteuning van opkomende kontemporêre Amerikaanse kunstenaars soos Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, John Marin , en Georgia O'Keeffe. Die verskeidenheid van sy belangstellings was ten volle te sien in sy publikasies en uitstallings, waar fotografie langs historiese voorgangers en moderne tydgenote in ander media gevind kon word.

Stieglitz se groot versameling het reeds tydens sy eie leeftyd begin versplinter. Hy skenk in 1924 sewe en twintig van sy eie afdrukke aan die Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, gevolg deur twee en twintig foto's aan die Metropolitan Museum of Art, beide geskenke wat die eerste foto's verteenwoordig wat in die museum se versameling aanvaar is. Hy was egter dubbelsinnig oor wat hy moes doen met sy steeds groter wordende versameling werk deur ander kunstenaars-'n wanordelike versameling wat oor dekades heen vergader het, insluitend geskenke en aankope van kunstenaars wat hy in sy galerye gewys het, sowel as werke wat uit ander uitstallings gekoop is, soos soos die Armory Show van 1913. Soos O'Keeffe dit stel: 'Hy brom altyd oor die versameling, sonder om te weet wat om daarmee te doen, wou dit nie regtig hê nie, maar ondanks die gebrom het dit steeds gegroei tot die laaste paar jaar sy lewe. ”[2] In 1933 was Stieglitz op die punt om 'n gedeelte van die versameling te vernietig, meer as vierhonderd onbetaalbare fotografiese afdrukke deur sy kollegas en eweknieë, waarvan die stoorgeld eerder 'n finansiële las geword het. oortuig deur die Metropolitan Museum of Art om hulle daar te deponeer. [3] Toe hy ouer word, het Stieglitz die probleme verwag wat toekomstige bestuurders van sy versameling sou ondervind. Hy het in 1937 aan 'n onderhoudvoerder gesê: 'Ek is amper vier en sewentig. [Sal] dit alles gebeur as ek vanaand sou sterf? Daar is nie 'n instelling in hierdie land wat bereid is om hierdie versameling te neem nie. . . . Opgebreek, sou hierdie individuele items interessant en waardevol wees. Maar saam is hulle meer as dit. Die geheel is groter as die som van sy dele. ”[4]

Toe Stieglitz in 1946 sterf, het O'Keeffe onmiddellik 'n groot projek begin met die hervorming en verspreiding van die versameling, bygestaan ​​deur Doris Bry en in oorleg met Daniel Catton Rich en die kurators James Johnson Sweeney en Alfred Barr van die Museum of Modern Art, New York. Die besluit van O'Keeffe om die werke onder openbare instellings te verdeel, was pragmaties, gegewe die grootte van die versameling. Dit verteenwoordig ook haar verbintenis tot die oordrag van Stieglitz se idees aan die grootste moontlike gehoor. Soos sy geskryf het: 'Dit is vir my onmoontlik om die versameling aan een instansie te gee en te verwag dat sy idees gehuisves sal word. Die versameling het te groot geword. . . . As die materiaal nie gesien word nie, word daar nie 'n mening gevorm nie. Omdat ek in gedagte gehou het dat prente gehang moes word, moes ek dit verdeel, soos ek hom altyd gesê het. ”[5]

Die taak om werke met hul onderskeie bestemmings te koppel, was moeilik, soos O'Keeffe in 'n brief aan Rich in 1948 beskryf het:

Dit is verstommend - te veel dinge om te besluit. - Ek werk redelik bestendig aan die foto's. Ek het gedink dit sal ongeveer twee weke neem. . . . Ek was eerder 'n maand lank besig daarmee. . . Ek was nie van plan om soveel groepe foto's te hê nie, maar die afdrukke is daar - dit is moeilik om te dink om dit te verkoop - ek kan dit nie behou nie - dit lyk te goed om te vernietig - ek sal bly wees as dit klaar is. [6 ]

In 1949 het O'Keeffe verteenwoordigende groepe werke aan 'n aantal instansies geskenk, waaronder die Art Institute of Chicago, die National Gallery of Art, die Metropolitan Museum of Art en verskeie ander ('n volledige lys is hieronder). Tussen 1950 en 1952 is verdere geskenke toegeken aan die Museum of Fine Arts, Boston the Museum of Modern Art, New York en die George Eastman House. Gedurende hierdie tyd is die groep van die Art Institute versterk deur die toevoeging van 'n groep outochrome. O'Keeffe het die Art Institute gekies as een van die museums wat ontvang is vanweë die 'sentrale ligging in ons land', maar haar persoonlike verbintenis met die museum speel ook 'n rol: sy was naby aan Rich en sy gesin, en sy het studeer aan die School of the Art Institute of Chicago. [7] Hoewel die versameling van Stieglitz in sy geheel sy merkwaardige artistieke loopbaan sowel as sy kieskeurige oog openbaar, weerspieël die verspreiding die arbitrasie van O'Keeffe, wat bepaal het hoe en waar die werke besigtig word.

As die gekose medium van Stieglitz, het fotografie 'n spesiale kategorie van die versameling behels, en die groep foto's wat aan die kunsinstituut geskenk is, was slegs die tweede in grootte van die groep "sleutelset" wat aan die National Gallery of Art gegee is, wat bestaan ​​uit 'n voorbeeld van elke afdruk wat Stieglitz tydens sy dood gemonteer en in sy besit gehou het. Van die oorspronklike 231 foto's en fotograwe wat aan die Art Institute in 1949 gegee is, wat destyds die hele fotografieversameling van die museum uitgemaak het, is 151 deur Stieglitz self, wat strek vanaf sy vroeë studentedae in die laat negentiende-eeuse Duitsland tot sy meer eksperimentele tydperk in Lake George in die dertigerjare. In haar brief aan Rich van 1948 beskryf O’Keeffe hierdie foto's deur Stieglitz as “baie mooi.” Dit sluit in afdrukke deur praktisyns uit die negentiende eeu, soos Julia Margaret Cameron en David Octavius ​​Hill en Robert Adamson, wat Stieglitz as voorgangers gesien het soos die van die piktorale James Craig Annan, F. Holland Day, Gertrude Käsebier en Heinrich Kühn, sowel as vroeg foto's deur Edward Steichen, wat Stieglitz almal in die bladsye van sy joernaal beywer het Kamerawerk en werke van Paul Strand en Ansel Adams, jonger modernistiese fotograwe wat Stieglitz begelei het.

Terwyl O'Keeffe in 1949 nie die moontlikhede van digitalisering kon voorsien nie, het die Art Institute of Chicago Die Alfred Stieglitz -versameling: foto's ondersteun haar voorneme om die werke beskikbaar te stel aan 'n so groot as moontlik publiek. Die webwerf demonstreer ook die unieke kwaliteite van die afdrukke in die versameling van die Art Institute in die besonder en plaas dit in die groter konteks van Stieglitz se invloedsfeer. Dit is die hoop van die skrywers dat die platform nuwe maniere om hierdie belangrike groep werke te verstaan, bekendstel, wat net so gevorm is deur die vooruitskouing van O'Keeffe as deur Stieglitz se insig as versamelaar.

Andrew W. Mellon Chicago Object Study Initiative (COSI) Navorsingsgenoot, 2014–15

[1] Daniel Catton Rich aan Georgia O'Keeffe, 9 Desember 1949, Department of Photography Files, Art Institute of Chicago.

[2] Georgia O'Keeffe, "Stieglitz: sy foto's het hom versamel" New York Times Sunday Magazine, 11 Desember 1949, p. 24.

[3] Dorothy Norman, 'N Amerikaanse siener (Aperture, 1973), pp. 235–36.

[4] Alfred Stieglitz, onderhoud, New York Herald Tribune, 10 November 1937, aangehaal in Norman, 'N Amerikaanse siener, bl. 200.

[5] O'Keeffe, "Stieglitz: sy foto's het hom versamel."

[6] Georgia O'Keeffe aan Daniel Catton Rich, 23 Februarie 1948, Art Institute Records.

[7] O'Keeffe, "Stieglitz: sy foto's het hom versamel."

[8] Georgia O'Keeffe aan Daniel Catton Rich, 23 Februarie 1948, Art Institute Records.

Benewens die foto's wat op hierdie webwerf uitgelig word, bevat die Alfred Stieglitz -versameling by die Art Institute of Chicago ook skilderye, beeldhouwerke, tekeninge en afdrukke. Die werke kan hier gesien word.

Die volgende instellings huisves ook gedeeltes van die Alfred Stieglitz -versameling:


Alfred Stieglitz

Sarah Greenough, & ldquoAlfred Stieglitz, en rdquo NGA Online Editions, https://purl.org/nga/collection/constituent/5477 (besoek 30 Junie 2021).

Verwante inhoud
Biografie

Min individue het 'n so sterk invloed op die Amerikaanse kuns en kultuur van die 20ste eeu uitgeoefen as die fotograaf en kunshandelaar Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz, gebore in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1864 tydens die burgeroorlog, het tot 1946 geleef. Hy het begin fotografeer terwyl hy 'n student was in Berlyn in die 1880's en studeer by die bekende fotograaf Hermann Wilhelm Vogel. Met sy terugkeer na die Verenigde State in 1890, het hy begin pleit dat fotografie as 'n kuns beskou moet word. Hy het baie artikels geskryf om sy saak te redeneer, die tydskrifte geredigeer Kamera -aantekeninge (1897–1902) en Kamerawerk (1903–1917), en vorm in 1902 die Photo-Session, 'n organisasie van fotograwe wat daartoe verbind is om die artistieke verdienste van fotografie vas te stel.

Stieglitz het New York vir meer as 25 jaar gefotografeer en sy strate, parke en nuut opkomende wolkekrabbers uitgebeeld, sy perdewaens, trollies, treine en veerbote sowel as sommige van die mense. In die laat 1910's en vroeë 1920's fokus hy ook sy kamera op die landskap rondom sy somerhuis in Lake George, New York. In 1918 raak Stieglitz besig om sy toekomstige vrou, die kunstenaar Georgia O'Keeffe, te fotografeer. Hy wou jare lank 'n uitgebreide fotografiese portret maak - hy noem dit 'n saamgestelde portret - waarin hy een persoon oor 'n lang tydperk sou bestudeer. Oor die volgende 19 jaar het hy meer as 330 voltooide portrette van haar gemaak. Vanaf 1922 en tot in die twintigerjare van die vorige eeu, was hy ook besig met 'n ander onderwerp, wolke, en het meer as 300 voltooide studies daaroor gedoen.

Stieglitz was getuie van enkele van die diepste veranderinge wat hierdie land ooit beleef het: twee wêreldoorloë, die Groot Depressie en die groei van Amerika van 'n landelike landbou tot 'n geïndustrialiseerde en kulturele supermoondheid. Maar meer belangrik, hy het ook gehelp om sommige van hierdie transformasies te bewerkstellig. Deur sy New York-galerye-die Little Galleries of the Photo-Session in Fifth Avenue 291, wat hy van 1905 tot 1917 The Intimate Gallery, 1925–1929 en An American Place, 1929–1946, geregisseer het-stel hy moderne Europese kuns aan hierdie land bekend , wat die eerste uitstallings in Amerika organiseer van werk deur onder andere Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Georges Braque en Paul Cézanne. Boonop was hy een van die eerstes wat Amerikaanse modernistiese kunstenaars soos Georgia O'Keeffe, Arthur Dove, John Marin, Marsden Hartley en Charles Demuth ondersteun en ondersteun het.

Fotografie was altyd sentraal van belang vir Stieglitz: dit was nie net die medium wat hy gebruik het om homself uit te druk nie, maar meer fundamenteel, dit was die toetssteen wat hy gebruik het om alle kuns te evalueer. Net soos dit vandag duidelik is dat rekenaars en digitale tegnologie nie net ons lewens nie, maar ook ons ​​denke in hierdie eeu sal oorheers, het Stieglitz ook lank voor baie van sy tydgenote besef dat fotografie 'n belangrike kulturele krag in die 20ste eeu sou wees . Gefassineer met wat hy 'die idee van fotografie' genoem het, het Stieglitz voorsien dat dit 'n omwenteling in alle aspekte van die manier waarop ons leer en kommunikeer sou verander, en dat dit alle kunste ingrypend sou verander.

Stieglitz se eie foto's was sentraal in sy begrip van die medium: dit was die instrumente wat hy gebruik het om die uitdrukkingspotensiaal daarvan en die verhouding tot die ander kunste te benut. Toe hy in die vroeë 1880's begin fotografeer, was die medium skaars 40 jaar oud. Die fotografie is ingewikkeld en omslagtig en word hoofsaaklik deur professionele persone beskou, en word deur die meeste as 'n objektiewe hulpmiddel beskou en gebruik vir die beskrywende en opnamemoontlikhede daarvan. Teen die tyd dat swak gesondheid Stieglitz in 1937 moes ophou fotografeer, het fotografie en die persepsie van die publiek dit dramaties verander, grootliks te danke aan sy pogings. Deur die publikasies wat hy geredigeer het, insluitend Kamera -aantekeninge, Kamerawerk, en 291 deur die uitstallings wat hy georganiseer het en deur sy eie helder en insiggewende foto's, het Stieglitz die ekspressiewe krag van die medium afdoende getoon.


Die eerste moderne foto?

Nadat sy 8-jarige dogter Kitty die skooljaar voltooi het en hy sy kunsgalery in die vyfde laan vir die somer gesluit het, het Alfred Stieglitz haar, sy vrou Emmeline en die goewerneur van Kitty bymekaargemaak vir hul tweede uitstappie na Europa as 'n gesin. Die Stieglitzes vertrek op 14 Mei 1907 na Parys aan boord van die eersteklas kwartiere van die modieuse skip Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Hoewel Emmeline uitgesien het na inkopies in Parys en om haar familie in Duitsland te besoek, was Stieglitz allesbehalwe entoesiasties oor die reis. Sy huwelik met die statusbewuste Emmeline het veral stresvol geword te midde van gerugte oor sy moontlike verhouding met die tarotkaart-illustreerder/kunstenaar Pamela Coleman Smith. Boonop voel Stieglitz uit sy plek in die geselskap van sy mede-passasiers in die hoër klas. Maar dit was juis hierdie ongemak onder sy maats wat hom aangespoor het om 'n foto te neem wat een van die belangrikste in die geskiedenis van fotografie sou word. In sy verslag van 1942 “How Die bestuur Het gebeur, ”onthou Stieglitz:

Hoe gehaat ek die atmosfeer van die eerste klas op daardie skip. 'N Mens kon nie ontsnap van die ‘nouveau -rykdom nie. ’ […]

Op die derde dag kon ek dit uiteindelik nie meer uithou nie. Ek moes wegkom van daardie onderneming. Ek het so ver vorentoe op die dek gegaan as wat ek kon […]

Toe ek aan die einde van die lessenaar kom, staan ​​ek alleen en kyk af. Daar was mans en vroue en kinders op die onderste dek van die stuur. Daar was 'n smal trap wat lei na die boonste dek van die stuur, 'n klein dek aan die voorkant van die stoomboot.

Links was 'n skuins tregter en vanaf die boonste stuurdek was daar 'n gangbrug wat in sy pas geverfde toestand blink. Dit was taamlik lank, wit, en het tydens die reis deur niemand onaangeraak gebly nie.

Op die boonste dek, wat oor die reling kyk, was daar 'n jong man met 'n strooihoed. Die vorm van die hoed was rond. Hy kyk na die mans en vroue en kinders op die onderste stuurdek. Slegs mans was op die boonste dek. Die hele toneel het my gefassineer. Ek wou graag uit my omgewing ontsnap en by hierdie mense aansluit.

In hierdie opstel, 35 jaar nadat hy die foto geneem het, beskryf Stieglitz hoe Die bestuur die missie van sy loopbaan om fotografie tot die status van beeldende kuns te verhoog, omvat dieselfde dialoë rondom abstraksie wat Europese avant-garde-skilders besig was:

'N Ronde strooihoed, die tregter wat uitloop, die trap na regs leun, die wit opritbrug met sy relings van sirkelvormige kettings - wit hangertjies wat op die rug van 'n man in die stuurkant onder kruis, ronde vorms van ystermasjiene, 'n mas wat in die lug, wat 'n driehoekige vorm het. Ek het 'n rukkie betowerend gestaan ​​en kyk en kyk. Kan ek fotografeer wat ek voel, kyk en kyk en nog steeds kyk? Ek het vorms gesien wat met mekaar verband hou. Ek sien 'n prentjie van vorms en die onderliggende gevoelens van die lewe. [...] Ek jaag spontaan na die hooftrap van die stoomboot, jaag af na my kajuit, kry my Graflex, jaag weer uitasem en wonder of die man met die strooihoed beweeg het of nie. As hy sou, sou die prentjie wat ek gesien het, nie meer wees nie. Die verhouding van vorms soos ek dit wou hê, sou versteur gewees het en die prentjie verlore geraak het.
Maar daar was die man met die strooihoed. Hy het nie beweeg nie. Die man met die gekruisde wit bretels wat sy rug wys, hy het ook nie met 'n man gepraat nie. En die vrou met 'n kind op haar skoot, wat op die vloer sit, het nie beweeg nie. Niemand het blykbaar van standpunt verander nie.
[…Dit] sou 'n prentjie wees wat gebaseer is op verwante vorms en op die diepste menslike gevoel, 'n stap in my eie evolusie, 'n spontane ontdekking.

Agterna

Met hierdie weergawe argumenteer Stieglitz met die voordeel van meer as drie dekades agteraf Die bestuur dui daarop dat foto's meer het as net 'n 'dokumentêre' stem wat spreek tot die waarheid tot die voorkoms van onderwerpe in 'n ruimteveld binne 'n noue tydsbeperking. Eerder, Die bestuur vra vir 'n meer komplekse, gelaagde beeld van die essensie van fotografie wat abstraksie kan akkommodeer en oordra. (Later sou fotograwe Minor White en Aaron Siskind hierdie projek verder in direkte dialoog met die abstrakte ekspressionistiese skildery voer.)

Stieglitz word dikwels gekritiseer omdat hy die onderwerp van sy foto in hierdie opstel misgekyk het, wat die verslag geword het waarmee die foto in ons geskiedenis bespreek word. Maar in sy rekening vir Die bestuur, Vestig Stieglitz ook die aandag op een van die teenstrydighede van fotografie: die vermoë om meer as net 'n abstrakte interpretasie te bied. Die bestuur Dit gaan nie net oor die 'betekenisvolle vorm' van vorms, vorms en teksture nie, maar dra ook 'n boodskap oor die onderdane daarvan, immigrante wat op Ellis Island verwerp is, of wat na hul ou land terugkeer om familielede te besoek en miskien om ander aan te moedig om saam met hulle na die Verenigde State terug te keer.

Slegte toestande

As leser van massa-bemarkte tydskrifte sou Stieglitz vertroud gewees het met die debatte oor immigrasiehervorming en die haglike omstandighede waaraan passasiers in bestuurstelsel onderwerp is. Stieglitz se pa het in 1849 na Amerika gekom tydens 'n historiese migrasie van 1 120 000 Duitsers na die Verenigde State tussen 1845 en 1855. Sy pa het 'n wolhandelaar geword en was so suksesvol dat hy op 48 -jarige ouderdom afgetree het. 'Amerikaanse droom' wat baie van die onderwerpe van Die bestuur.

Boonop reis die ondersoekverslaggewer Kellogg Durland in 1906 onder die stuur as stuurstyl en skryf daaroor: 'Ek kan, en het meer as een keer my bord macaroni geëet nadat ek die wurms, die watergoggas en by 'n geleentheid uitgesoek het. 'n haarnaald. But why should these things ever be found in the food served to passengers who are paying $36.00 for their passage?”

Still, Stieglitz was conflicted about the issue of immigration. While he was sympathetic to the plight of aspiring new arrivals, Stieglitz was opposed to admitting the uneducated and marginal to the United States of America—despite his claims of sentiment for the downtrodden. Perhaps this may explain his preference to avoid addressing the subject of The Steerage, and to see in this photograph not a political statement, but a place for arguing the value of photography as a fine art.


Alfred Stieglitz and American Modernism

American Modernism dates approximately from the first half of the Twentieth Century. For the sake of convenience and to take note of a key figure, it is possible to roughly date this period in relation to the career of Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946). The photographer returned from Germany in 1890 with a knowledge of avant-garde art in Europe and with experience in “art photography.” In America, photography was largely the province of professionals who worked commercially, but in Europe, there were groups of well-to-do “amateurs” who had the time to experiment and the income to produce fine art. In addition, New York City had no notable or current avant-garde art scene, a situation the young photographer would attempt to rectify. Stieglitz would preside over Modernism in America until his death in 1946.

The self-given mission of Stieglitz, a New York City native, was to make the American public accept photography as a fine art. He began with joining the Society of Amateur Photographers in 1891, and became the editor of The American Amateur Photographer. Resigning from this post in 1895, Stieglitz merged the Society with the Camera Club of New York and in 1896-7 published Camera Notes to put forward his own ideas. He insisted on the idea of a “picture” as opposed to a mere photograph, a term denoting an artistic, rather than a mechanical, endeavor. By the beginning of the twentieth century, Stieglitz would formulate his concepts of the nature of photography itself, based in a combination of what a camera could do—clarity of vision—and what an artist contributed—composition and design.

Photographs of America’s first photographic salon, the Pennsylvania Academy of Arts and the Photographic Society of Pennsylvania, show a rather haphazard salon style of hanging art. Stieglitz exhibited ten of his “pictures” in the exhibition, but, when he opened his own gallery, the installation style would be quite different. The New York group he had put together was a bit too tame for ambitions nurtured in Berlin. When Stieglitz met the young photographer, Edward Steichen, at the Camera Club, the two of them made a bold move. He and his enthusiastic follower started the Photo-Secession, an avant-garde movement of New York photographers who wanted to be both professional artists and progressive photographers. In the time-honored fashion of European movements, in 1901 these photographers “seceded” from the more conservative club. The “Little Galleries” of the Photo-Secession opened in Steichen’s vacated studios at 293 Fifth Avenue and soon became a beacon for the art cognoscenti of New York City.

In 1908 the gallery broke through the wall to next room at 291, a number that would become a site of a circle of American modernist artists. Until 1907, the prime intention of the gallery was to promote photography as art in terms of Pictorialism. The photographers of 291 began as fashionable Pictorialist photographers. This approach to photography attempted to align photography with “art” by emulating artistic styles and looks, such as graphic effects and painterly effects. Pictorialism was often soft in focus and the photographers built on this soft focus by drawing on the image during the developing process. The result was a photograph that looked like a watercolor or a charcoal sketch, often of picturesque subject matter or staged sentimental or narrative scenes.

But in 1907, Pictorialism was challenged by a new way of photographing called Straight Photography, that is, photography that was sharp and clear, based upon only what the camera could do, un-manipulated in the darkroom. In 1907, a year as important for photography as Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon was for painting, Stieglitz moved definitively away from Pictorialism with The Steerage. This seminal image was an unmediated shot of third class passengers on an ocean liner, devoid of narrative or mood. The viewer must learn to observe, not the emigrants, but the interplay of diagonals and verticals. Suddenly, “straight photography” ended the reign of Pictorialism.

Advanced photographers favored “Camera Vision,” based upon the way in which the camera sees, a mechanical statement for a technological age. Pictorialism suddenly seemed a relic of the last century, and Pictorialists, like Clarence White and Gerturde Kasebier, went their separate ways, separating from Stieglitz. In his turn the middle-aged Stieglitz took up with other younger straight photographers, Paul Strand and Charles Scheeler. Under the influences of the well-traveled Steichen, Stieglitz soon learned to appreciate avant-garde movements in Europe and expanded the repertoire of the gallery to non-photographic art. In a city where the realist Ash Can artists caused consternation, Stieglitz was the first to give artists like Picasso, Matisse and Brancusi shows in America.

During the early years of the twentieth century, Stieglitz played many roles in New York. In a city where there was little interest in progressive art, he continued his career as a photographer, ran the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, published Kamerawerk and promoted art photography and avant-garde art from Europe. The cover of Kamerawerk was designed by Edward Steichen in the popular Art nouveau style, connoting an art perspective on photography. Kamerawerk published seminal art writing by writers such as Sadakichi Hartmann. It was in these pages that Gerturde Stein was given her first publications, on Matisse and Picasso. The gallery 291 was a tiny room lined with storage cabinets and shelves below the wainscoting. A curtain hid the shelves and above the chair railing, the walls were reserved for the exhibition of works of art, displayed on the line, in one row. In the center of the room was a table which held a large copper bowl with the flowers of the season.

The viewer reached the gallery via a small elevator that held there people, including the operator. Once in the gallery, s/he might meet the small talkative man who lectured tirelessly, often for hours, on avant-garde art. Stieglitz was also interested in promoting American artists and American art and his efforts and “his artists” provided an important way station between American provincialism and American hegemony of the post-War period. In these early years in New York City, Stieglitz was the only source of advanced art until the Armory Show in 1913. In the last issue of Kamerawerk, Stieglitz featured his protogée, Paul Strand, and in the last exhibition of 291, he featured an obscure artist living in Texas, Georgia O’Keeffe.

When the 291 Gallery closed in 1917, Stieglitz opened The Intimate Gallery and later An American Place, as showcase galleries for his work and the work of his circle, a group of young men, the painters, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Charles Scheeler, Charles Demuth, John Marin, the photographer, Paul Strand, and the only woman, his lover, Georgia O’Keeffe. These artists would be the American Modernists, part of a larger group that included Abraham Walkowitz, Gerald Murphy and Edward Hopper. With their New York approach to the challenge of European modernism, this group would represent “America,” the most industrialized nation in the early twentieth century.

If you have found this material useful, please give credit to

Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette and Art History Unstuffed. Dankie.


Alfred Stieglitz and the Straight Photography

Since then, Stieglitz devoted to “pure” photography (straight photography). After the 1914-1918 war, many American photographers adopted the same approach. This is notably the case of Edward Steichen, Charles Sheeler or Paul Strand and later Edward Weston. Sometimes described as an immutable character, Stieglitz in fact continues to evolve in his photographic practice and artistic activism.

In February-March 1913, the Armory Show was held in New York, a major contemporary art fair very different from Stieglitz’s style. It was a large-scale event, openly commercial but without photography. Therefore, Stieglitz exhibits at the same time his own photographs at the gallery �”. He then exhibits Picabia, the only French painter who came to present his works at the Armory Show: abstract compositions inspired by New York.


Alfred Stieglitz - History

Invented by Auguste and Louis Lumière in 1903 and released to the public in 1907, read more

Carbon Print

Introduced in the mid-1850s, carbon prints are the result of a transfer process. First, a read more

Gelatin Silver Print

After being introduced in the 1870s, gelatin silver printing grew to dominate amateur and professional read more

Gum Bichromate Print

Although employed largely by Pictorialist photographers between the 1890s and the 1930s, gum printing was read more

Palladium Print

At the start of World War I, a shortage of platinum forced photographers to look read more

Photogravure

The earliest method of reproducing photographs in ink, photogravures peaked in popularity at the turn read more

Platinum Print

Patented in 1873 in England, the platinum printing process (sometimes known as platinotypes) enjoyed widespread read more

Salted Paper Print

The earliest commonly used method for printing photographic images on paper, salt prints were employed read more

Silver Platinum Print (Satista)

In 1913, the Platinotype Company patented silver platinum “Satista” papers to offer an affordable alternative read more

Solarization

Print solarization occurs when a photograph is briefly exposed to light mid-development. This can lend read more

Toning

Toning is a technique used to alter the overall color and contrast of a photographic read more

Treated by Steichen

As Georgia O’Keeffe sorted through the photographs in Alfred Stieglitz’s estate in the late 1940s, read more


Who Were They? The Truth Behind Stieglitz’s Iconic Photograph ‘The Steerage’ Revealed

The Steerage (1907) by Alfred Stieglitz. (Photo: The Jewish Museum)

Everything you think you know about one of the most famous photographs in history is wrong.

Alfred Stieglitz’s 1907 The Steerage is famous around the world as perhaps the classic representation of the 20th-century immigrant arriving in America from Europe for the first time. In the decades since it was taken, the photo has become inextricably tied up with the immigrant journey.

Yet Rebecca Shaykin, curator of “Masterpieces & Curiosities: Alfred Stieglitz’s The Steerage” at the Jewish Museum through February 14, points out that our understanding of the photograph is largely misinformed.

Arnold Newman, Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe, An American Place, New York City, (1944). (Photo: © Arnold Newman, courtesy The Jewish Museum)

When Stieglitz took the photograph, he was actually on board a ship heading east toward Europe—dashing any possible tales of the vessel gliding historically into Ellis Island. In other words, those pictured were most likely people who had been denied entry to the U.S. and were forced to return home. Moreover, a man who appears, at fast glance, to be in a tallit, or Jewish prayer shawl—a detail which has made the image a touchstone in the Jewish community for decades—is actually a woman in a striped cloak.

Given the enduring power of the image, these details are somewhat immaterial, however. “It’s very clear that this image, and Stieglitz being a Jewish photographer, is very important to Jewish history and Jewish culture,” Ms. Shaykin told the Observer during a walkthrough of the show. “[In his memoir] he tells the story about how he came and saw the steerage class passengers on the boat. He felt a natural affinity to them. He doesn’t outright say it’s because, as a son of German-Jewish immigrants, he felt some sort of kinship to them, but it’s implied.”

In Stieglitz’s own account, he described traveling with his daughter and first wife, Emily, whom he described as more decadently inclined than himself. “My wife insisted on going on the Kaiser Wilhem II—the fashionable ship of the North German Lloyd at the time,” the photographer lamented of the journey. “How I hated the atmosphere of the first class on that ship! One couldn’t escape the nouveaux riches.”

On the third day, Stieglitz claimed, he couldn’t stand it any longer and took a walk to the ship’s steerage where, compelled by the people below and geometric architectural structures he saw, he ran to grab his camera.

‘If all my photographs were lost, and I’d be represented by just one, ‘The Steerage’…I’d be satisfied.’

“Spontaneously I raced to the main stairway of the steamer, chased down to my cabin, got my Graflex, raced back again.” (The exhibition text quotes his story of the account.) “Would I get what I saw, what I felt? Finally I released the shutter, my heart thumping. I had never heard my heart thump before. Had I gotten my picture? I knew if I had, another milestone in photography would have been reached.”

The Steerage is one of several visual milestones of the immigrant experience selected by the Jewish Museum for “Masterpieces & Curiosities”—described by the museum as a series of intimate “essay” exhibitions. Previous pieces, for example, have included a Russian Jewish immigrant family’s quilt, circa 1899, and Diane Arbus’ famed Jewish Giant, photographed in 1970.

Installation view of the “Alfred Stieglitz’s The Steerage exhibition at the Jewish Museum. (Photo: David Heald)

Vir The Steerage, the museum has suspended the image in a glass vitrine alongside two related pieces of artwork: Vik Muniz’s 2000 appropriations of Stieglitz’s photograph in chocolate sauce, and Arnold Newman’s 1944 double portrait of Stieglitz and his second wife, the painter Georgia O’Keeffe. In addition, there is also a small-scale replica of the Kaiser Wilhem II and various ephemera, such as postcards that were sold on board the ship.

To the left of The Steerage, a cluster of reproductions of the photograph are on display. There is a 1911 issue of Kamerawerk, edited by Stieglitz himself, a 1944 Saturday Evening Post profile by Thomas Craven titled “Stieglitz—Old Master of the Camera” and Alfred Kazin’s memoir. The critic, himself the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants, both owned a print of the work and used it as a frontispiece in his memoir A Walker in the City. The picture has enjoyed numerous reproductions, even appearing on the cover of a recent textbook titled The Columbia History of Jews and Judaism in America.

Vik Muniz’s The Steerage (After Alfred Stieglitz), from the Pictures of Chocolate series, (2000). (Photo: © The Jewish Museum)

“Just reproducing the images over and over again, they become part of the popular imagination,” said Ms. Shaykin. “It’s interesting to me that the first time he published it was in 1911—there was a very select group of people who cared deeply and passionately about Modern art at this time. Then, nearly 20 years after he took it, 1924, he’s reproducing it in Vanity Fair, and then again in Die Saturday Evening Post toward the end of his life. He’s really pushing his work—that image in particular—into the world to become quite popular.” (The Vanity Fair reproduction was, rather misguidedly, printed alongside a satirical advice column titled “How to be Frightfully Foreign.”)

Stieglitz made no effort to hide his intentions. “If all my photographs were lost, and I’d be represented by just one, The Steerage,” he said near the end of his career, “I’d be satisfied.”

As for Ms. Shaykin, she hopes viewers will walk away understanding where Stieglitz was coming from. The photographer may have been traveling in the lap of luxury, but he chose to photograph, and document for decades to come, the travelers on a very different journey.

Like happens so often, she said, “[The photograph] has really had a life of its own beyond the original intention of the artist.”


The Jewish Side Of Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) is perhaps the most important figure in the history of visual arts in America. Before him, photographs were considered items that capture moments in time – and nothing more. Stieglitz changed that. As a virtuoso and visionary photographer as a grand promoter of photography as a discoverer and nurturer of great photographers and artists as a publisher, patron, collector, gallery owner, and exhibition organizer and as a catalyst and charismatic leader in the photographic and art worlds for over 30 years, Stieglitz elevated photographs into works of art.

Stieglitz published the seminal periodical Camera Work (1903-17) and operated prominent galleries where he not only exhibited photographs, but also introduced previously unknown modern European painters and sculptors to America, including Picasso, Rodin, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, Cézanne, and Duchamp. He also mentored and championed many American artists, including particularly his future wife, Georgia O’Keeffe, who became his muse of sorts.

Stieglitz led what became known as the Pictorialist movement, which promoted photography as an art form similar to the traditional graphic arts of drawing and painting, but using a camera instead of a paintbrush. Indeed, the Pictorialists were known for the darkroom manipulation of their photographs, as they brought their own artistry and creativity to what would otherwise be a rote recording of a scene or subject.

But Stieglitz himself relied less upon elaborate re-touching than tapping natural effects, such as snow, steam, rain droplets, and reflected light, to create his images. Troubled by the rise of American power yet absorbed by it, and seeking to soften its apparent brutality by cloaking it in nature, he reimagined the cityscape in impressionist terms and established a novel aesthetic for urban photography, exhibiting a striking technical mastery of tone, texture, and atmospherics.

Stieglitz was born to German Jewish immigrants who settled in Hoboken (1849), became prosperous in America, and later moved to New York (1871). His father, Ephraim, who served three years as an officer in the Union Army during the Civil War, abandoned the traditional Orthodox faith of his family and became a devotee of Isaac Mayer Wise, the founder of Reform Judaism in America.

Although his father characterized himself as “a principled atheist,” he continued to strongly identify as a Jew, bragging about being the only Jewish member of the prestigious Jockey Club. Changing and Americanizing his name to Edward, he was active in supporting Jewish institutions, including leading the fundraising effort to establish the Jewish Hospital (later renamed Mount Sinai).

Nonetheless, there is no evidence that he ever provided his son with any Jewish education, and Alfred and his siblings were taught to think of themselves as assimilated “ex-Jews” in fact, Alfred was educated at a “nondenominational” school dedicated to turning its students into good Christians.

Alfred began his higher education at City College of New York, but, in 1881, when public support for anti-Semitism escalated at the College, particularly in the school newspaper, his parents moved the family to Berlin, where, ironically, they believed that their Jewish son could receive a quality education unencumbered by American anti-Semitism.

Alfred enrolled in the Technishe Hochschule, where he studied mechanical engineering before becoming enamored with photography and changing his attention to photochemistry. Returning to New York in 1890, he became a partner at the Photochrome Engraving Company joined the society of amateur photographers served as chief editor of the American Amateur Photographer (1893-96) and gained recognition for his stylistically unique photographs of New York City.

Like many German Jews at that time, Stieglitz was uncomfortable with his ethnicity, even identifying his Jewishness as that which was most vexing about himself – “the key to my impossible makeup” – and, like many Jewish artists at the turn of the 20th century sensitive to prevailing anti-Semitism, he did not want to call attention to his Jewishness and avoided contact with organized Jewry.

Historians and commentators manifest a distinctly mixed view of Stieglitz’s place in the Jewish pantheon. For example, in Our America (1919), American Jewish author Waldo Frank, a close friend who knew him well, writes, “Stieglitz is primarily the Jewish mystic. Suffering is his daily bread: sacrifice is his creed: failure is his beloved. A true Jew.” When his fame began to spread, The American Hebrew wrote that he was “a Jew who had arrived.”

In dramatic contrast, Thomas Craven, a respected art critic, described him in 1935 as a “Hoboken Jew [i.e., a person wholly without class] without knowledge of, or interest in, the historical American background.” Many of Stieglitz’s critics were unquestionably motivated by anti-Semitism as but one stark example, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet John Gould Fletcher characterized Stieglitz as “an eccentric Jewish photographer” and berated him for using his “Jewish persuasiveness” in the service of “metropolitan charlatanry.”

Many leaders in American arts had adopted the emerging fascist view of abstract art as “Jewish” and “degenerate,” and high society generally blamed Stieglitz’s “brash Jewish behavior” as responsible for his disruption of the comfortable and established artistic status quo.

As a sort of middle ground, the editor of My Faraway One characterizes Stieglitz as “deeply assimilated, yet acutely aware of his identity and historical tragedy to come.” Stieglitz wrote to O’Keeffe in 1933 about that “historical tragedy” – i.e., the Holocaust – in October 1933 (with regard to news coming out of Germany): “Every hour seems to bring the world closer & closer to an abyss.”

Stieglitz’s Jewish consciousness manifested itself in various ways. He took great pride at FDR’s appointment of a Jew, Henry Morgenthau, Jr., as Secretary of the Treasury in a November 16, 1933 letter to O’Keeffe, he wrote: “I see by the paper that Alma’s brother is to be head of the Treasury! – Finally, a Jew…” (Morgenthau’s sister was Alma Wertheim, who collected Stieglitz’s work.)

In a correspondence to O’Keeffe written a month later, he expresses strong support for Frank’s New Republic article “Why Should the Jews Survive?,” notwithstanding his keen embarrassment when Frank argued that the Jews should survive because they produce the likes of Einstein, Freud, Marx… and Stieglitz. When he essentially left O’Keeffe for Jewish photographer Dorothy Norman, he cited their “shared German-Jewish heritage” as one reason.

Although Stieglitz apparently never took an overtly “Jewish photograph,” he did occasionally seem to draw on Jewish themes as, for example, in The Steerage (1907), one of the only photographs he ever took of people in a group. Traveling first class with his first wife and daughter, he hated the ostentatious lap of luxury and, seeking a respite from what he characterized as “the nouveaux riche socialites,” he descended to steerage. Stunned by what he saw, he ran back to get his camera and returned to take the historic shot. For the rest of his life, he remained firm in his belief that The Steerage was his seminal and defining work and the single greatest photograph he ever took.

The Steerage (1907)

Considered by many to be the definitive representation of European immigrants arriving in America at the beginning of the 20th century, The Steerage captured what appears to be a man at the center of the photograph draped in a tallit. This long-held view, however, has been definitively debunked by the critics.

First, it turns out that when Stieglitz took the famous photograph, he was aboard the Keiser Wilhelm II heading to Bremen and away from America, meaning that the photo could not be depicting Jewish immigrants coming to Ellis Island. Sadly, the passengers in the photo were most likely people denied entry to the United States and who were therefore forced to return home to Europe. A noted photography expert studying the light concluded that the shot was taken while the ship was in port in Plymouth, England. Second, the “man” wearing a “tallit” turns out to be, upon closer inspection, a woman draped in a striped cloak.

Nonetheless, the power of the photo endures, and the image remains important in Jewish history, reflecting Stieglitz’s natural empathy for the wretched refuse of humanity and his kinship for the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” who surely reminded him of his own German-Jewish immigrant roots.

Looking down into the steerage deck, the assimilated yet still Jewish Stieglitz was able to see both his past and the promise of his future as the son of Jewish immigrants who, no different than the teeming mass below him, had come to America seeking a better life for themselves and their families and manifesting their faith that hard work would enable them to attain that.

Moreover, in the quasi-autobiographical photograph, which marked a turning point in his career, he all but abandoned the idea of making photographs look like paintings instead, he began to focus on “straight” photography, innovating a “freeze the action in the moment” approach to capture actual events as they were occurring.

Subsequently turning to more “realist” photography, he documented the rise of the industrialized American nation, including the problems inherent in increased urbanization and the development of modern commercial culture and its attendant changes in social behavior and norms. Although photojournalism had its origins in the Civil War, Stieglitz elevated it to a new and exciting artistic form, thereby becoming renowned as “the father of photojournalism.”

With O’Keeffe away painting in New Mexico, for which she had come to develop great affection and where she spent increasing time away from her husband, Stieglitz writes this August 17, 1938 correspondence to his childhood friend, American painter Frank Simon Herrmann (“Sime”) (only the first and last pages are exhibited):

When your letter arrived I immediately addressed an envelope to you.… Laziness & procrastination I abhor yet I seem to be afflicted with both. Naturally I was shocked to hear that you were not painting [,] proof positive that physical disabilities were getting the better of you. I can see nearly any one else ill before picturing you as “down” even if only relatively so. I do hope you are painting once more – meaning thereby that you are yourself again.… I do feel like a fool myself sitting here day in and out doing nothing.… Georgia got away a week ago & is once more in her country [New Mexico]. Her arm still bothers her & she has not yet started painting. I have no desire to photograph yet it is getting on my nerves to be without my camera or cameras. It’s awful this being indecently young in spirit but otherwise ripe for the scrap-heap.… We have certainly lived and neither has a kick coming unless the kick coming to us for not having lived still harder or worked harder – I receive most pathetic letters from Eilshemius. Have been swapping letters with him for some years. He hasn’t been out of his room for years. I doubt his receiving but a bagatelle for his paintings. The dealers have to look out for themselves & theirs & Co! Same old story. Ag & Herbert arrived yesterday…

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Stieglitz had essentially ceased taking photographs in 1937, and in 1938, the year of this letter, he experienced serious heart problems, necessitating the convalescence he mentions. Over the next eight years, additional heart attacks weakened him, the last one taking his life. It is interesting to note that in 1938 – when his wife’s arm “still bother[ed] her & she ha[d] not yet started painting,” as Stieglitz writes in our letter – O’Keeffe painted one of her most famous works, Ram’s Head, Blue Morning Glory.

Herrmann (1866-1942), the person to whom this letter was addressed, was best known in Germany where he spent most of his career, but he actually grew up with Stieglitz on the same East 65th Street block in Manhattan. The two studied in Germany at about the same time, took vacations together, exchanged letters, and were lifelong friends.

He created work that embraced Beaux-Arts Academic Realism to Impressionism to the New Objectivity, and he was a founding member of two important groups of the German avant-garde centered in Munich: the Munich Secessionist Group (SEMA), which included his friend, Paul Klee, and the New Secession of German Artists, led by Wassily Kandinsky.

The “pathetic” Eilshemius referred to in the letter by Stieglitz is Louis Michel Eilshemius (1864-1941), an American painter. Trained at the Art Students League of New York and Paris’ Académie Julian, his supporters included Marcel Duchamp and Henri Matisse, but he never achieved the success he desired and, after a severely critical reception of his 1921 show, he almost completely gave up painting.

After sustaining serious injury in an auto accident six years earlier in 1932, he became a recluse (“he hasn’t been out of his room for years”), quickly ate through his family fortune, and died a pauper (“I doubt his receiving but a bagatelle for his paintings”).

Finally, the letter mentions Stieglitz’s sister “Ag” – Agnes Stieglitz Engelhard – and his brother in-law George Herbert Engelhard.


Kyk die video: Stieglitz and the New York Art Scene 1905-46