Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, and Paul StrandMalcolm Daniel, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Malcolm Daniel, the Met’s curator of photographs, discusses the interactions between Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, and Paul Strand.
“Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand”, Nov 10, 2010 - Apr 10, 2011
Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY
CITIES PART 2: New York seen by Alfred Stieglitz
Alfred Stieglitz’s photographs of New York are iconic examples of urban photography. As the American city was coming into its own with all the attendant cultural, economic and social transformations, Stieglitz was the man on the ground documenting those changes.
Stieglitz was a steward of the New York avant garde; at various points he ran an organisation called The Camera Club of New York, edited a journal called Camera Work, inspired a movement called Photo-Secession and started galleries to promote his philosophy of treating a photograph as an unique artwork rather than a mere technical reproduction (Little Galleries, the 291).
The evolution of New York from a quaint American city at the end of the 19th century to the bustling, booming metropolis it became in the 20th has been recorded by Stieglitz. The horse-drawn carriages obscured by the mist gave way to the stunning skyscrapers that came to define NYC, the latter being pictures that he took from a window. Stieglitz captured the way in which the culture of modernity edited the life of what would become one of the greatest cities of the world.
New York was Stieglitz’s home and he was fascinated by everything that went on in it. As his second wife, the painter Georgia O’Keeffe said about him when stating that he never travelled just for the sake of photographing:
“His eye was in him, and he used it on anything that was nearby.”