Alfred Stieglitz

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Stieglitz, Alfred

(stēg`lĭts), 1864–1946, American photographer, editor, and art exhibitor, b. Hoboken, N.J. The first art photographer in the United States, Stieglitz more than any other American compelled the recognition of photography as a fine art. In 1881 he went to Berlin to study engineering but soon devoted himself to photography. In 1890 he returned to the United States and for three years helped to direct the Heliochrome Engraving Company. He then edited a series of photography magazines, the American Amateur Photographer (1892–96), Camera Notes (1897–1902), and Camera Work (1902–17), the organ of the photo-secessionists, a group he led that was dedicated to the promotion of photography as a legitimate art form.

In 1905 he established the famous gallery "291" at 291 Fifth Ave., New York City, for the exhibition of photography as a fine art. Soon the gallery broadened its scope to include the works of the modern French art movement and introduced to the United States the work of CézanneCézanne, Paul
, 1839–1906, French painter, b. Aix-en-Provence. Cézanne was the leading figure in the revolution toward abstraction in modern painting.
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, PicassoPicasso, Pablo
(Pablo Ruiz y Picasso) , 1881–1973, Spanish painter, sculptor, graphic artist, and ceramist, who worked in France. He is generally considered in his technical virtuosity, enormous versatility, and incredible originality and prolificity to have been the
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, BraqueBraque, Georges
, 1882–1963, French painter. He joined the artists involved in developing fauvism in 1905, and at l'Estaque c.1909 he was profoundly influenced by Cézanne.
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, BrancusiBrancusi, Constantin
, 1876–1957, Romanian sculptor. Brancusi is considered one of the foremost of modern artists. In 1904 he went to Paris, where he worked under Mercié. He declined Rodin's invitation to work in his studio.
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, and many others. It also made known the work of such American artists as John MarinMarin, John
, 1870–1953, American landscape painter, b. Rutherford, N.J. After a year at Stevens Institute of Technology, he worked for four years as an architectural draftsman.
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, Charles DemuthDemuth, Charles
, 1883–1935, American watercolor painter, b. Lancaster, Pa. At the age of 20 he began his art study under William Chase at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In 1907 and again in 1912, Demuth visited Europe.
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, Max WeberWeber, Max
, 1881–1961, American painter, b. Russia. At 10 he accompanied his family to Brooklyn, N.Y. He studied art at Pratt Institute and in 1905 went abroad. In Paris he studied under J. P. Laurens, later visiting Spain and Italy and returning to New York in 1909.
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, and Georgia O'KeeffeO'Keeffe, Georgia
, 1887–1986, American painter, b. Sun Prairie, Wis. After working briefly as a commercial artist in Chicago, O'Keeffe abandoned painting until she began the study of abstract design with A. W. Dow at Columbia Univ. Teachers College.
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 whom Stieglitz married in 1924.

From 1917 to 1925 Stieglitz produced his major works: the extraordinary portraits of O'Keeffe, studies of New York, and the great cloud series through which he developed his concept of photographic "equivalents." This concept greatly influenced photographic aesthetics. He then opened the Intimate Gallery (1925–30) and An American Place (1930–46), which continued the work of "291." Through his own superb photographic work and his generous championship of others, he promoted the symbolic and spiritually significant in American art, as opposed to the merely technically proficient.


See W. Frank et al., ed., America and Alfred Stieglitz (1934); S. Greenough, ed., My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz (1 vol., 2011–); biographies by D. Bry (1965), D. Norman (1973), S. D. Lowe (1983), R. Whelan (1995), and K. Hoffman (2 vol., 2004–11); W. I. Homer, Alfred Stieglitz and the Photo-Secession (1983); S. Greenough, Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set (2002).

Stieglitz, Alfred


Born Jan. 1, 1864, in Hoboken, N.J.; died July 13, 1946, in New York City. American photographer and expert in the theory of art photography.

Stieglitz studied with the German photographer H. W. Vogel in Berlin from 1885 to 1890. An advocate of photography as an independent art form, Stieglitz urged rejection of the “imitation painting” approach and in 1902 founded the art organization Photo-Secession. He edited, among other publications, the magazine Camera Work (1902–17) and organized exhibitions where contemporary paintings and sculptures were shown along with photographs. Stieglitz’ work is typified by portraits and urban scenes that combine a photojournalistic approach with subtle lighting effects.


Norman, D. Alfred Stieglitz: An American Seer. New York, 1973.

Stieglitz, Alfred

(1864–1946) photographer, curator; born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He traveled to Berlin, Germany, in 1881 to study mechanical engineering and came back to New York in 1890 a photographer and admirer of avant-garde art. Partner in a photogravure business (1890–95), he continued taking photographs and edited Camera Notes for the Camera Club (1897–1902). He resigned in 1902, founding the photo-secession movement to express his belief that photography was an art form, equal to painting. Editor of Camera Work, he opened the "291" gallery (its name merely the address on 5th Avenue) to exhibit art from Europe (1905–17). In 1917 he met and began photographing the artist Georgia O'Keeffe, whom he married in 1924. A leader of the "pictorialist" approach to photography, he achieved his painterly effects by filming at night, in the snow and rain, instead of retouching in the lab. Winner of 150 awards for his own photography, he championed the careers of artists and photographers at the American Place Gallery (1929–46).
References in periodicals archive ?
Alfred Stieglitz was one of the most significant and influential photographers and gallery owners of his time.
The 101-work exhibit, The Artists' Eye: Georgia O'Keeffe & the Alfred Stieglitz Collection, runs through Feb.
He benefited from a brief association with talented photographer and art publisher Alfred Stieglitz and his gallery 291, which promoted photography as a legitimate method of image making and advocated modernism.
However, politicking within the photographic community would later bring Day into conflict with Alfred Stieglitz, whose disdain for Day undoubtedly contributed to the latter's subsequent critical neglect.
In the past you've played a wide range of historical characters including Frank James, Ernest Hemingway, Alfred Stieglitz, Sam Houston, even Barabbas.
On the other hand there is no such requirement when he photographs the artist Georgia O'Keeffe out in the wild, or the photographer Alfred Stieglitz in front of one of O'Keeffe's paintings, or a close-up of the Mexican muralist Jose Clemente Orozco.
made that decision, involving two paintings from its Alfred Stieglitz Collection of Modern American and European Art, to aid its fiscal struggle.
The work features the likenesses of Aaron Douglas, Mark Rothko, Alfred Stieglitz, John Sloan, Alex Raymond, Roy Lichtenstein, Lee Krasner, Winslow Homer, Frederick Church, and Tamara de Lempicka.
They mingled with luminaries like Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Emma Goldman, Margaret Sanger, and Alfred Stieglitz.
These letters depict the origins of Toomer's relationship with a number of his era's most influential personages: Sherwood Anderson, Georgia O'Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, Lewis Mumford, Lola Ridge, Alain Locke, and others.
T]he railroads are being used by the military--I only know that war is inevitable now," the American photographer Edward Steichen wrote to his friend Alfred Stieglitz in New York in one of his letters now stored in the Steichen Archive of the Beinecke Library at Yale University.
Names like Alfred Stieglitz, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Carleton E.