Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand: Masterworks from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand: Masterworks from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

by Malcolm Daniel
     
 

Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946), Edward Steichen (1879–1973), and Paul Strand (1890–1976) are among the most famous photographers of the 20th century. This handsome volume showcases for the first time the Metropolitan Museum’s extraordinarily rich holdings of works by these diverse and groundbreaking masters.

A passionate advocate for

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Overview

Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946), Edward Steichen (1879–1973), and Paul Strand (1890–1976) are among the most famous photographers of the 20th century. This handsome volume showcases for the first time the Metropolitan Museum’s extraordinarily rich holdings of works by these diverse and groundbreaking masters.

A passionate advocate for photography and modern art promoted through his “Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession” (also known as “291”) and his journal Camera Work, Stieglitz was also a photographer of supreme accomplishment. Featured works by Stieglitz include portraits, landscapes, city views, and cloud studies, along with photographs from his composite portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe (selected by O’Keeffe herself for the Museum). Steichen—perhaps best known as a fashion photographer, celebrity portraitist, and MoMA curator—was Stieglitz’s man in Paris, gallery collaborator, and most talented exemplar of Photo-Secessionist photography. His three large variant prints of The Flatiron and his moonlit photographs of Rodin’s Balzac are highlighted here. Marking a pivotal moment in the course of photography, the final double issue of Camera Work (1915–17) was devoted to the young Paul Strand, whose photographs from 1915 and 1916 treated three principal themes—movement in the city, abstractions, and street portraits—and pioneered a shift from the soft-focus Pictorialist aesthetic to the straight approach and graphic power of an emerging modernism. Represented are Strand’s rare large platinum prints—most of them unique exhibition prints of images popularly known only as Camera Work photogravures.

The rarely exhibited photographs gathered in Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand are among the crown jewels of the Metropolitan’s collection.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
It was Alfred Stieglitz's (1864–1946) persistent ministrations that finally convinced New York's Metropolitan Museum (Met) to display photographs. Today, the Met has an excellent photography collection anchored by the work of Stieglitz and his friends Edward Steichen and Paul Strand. This fine book highlights the famous, haunting views of the Flatiron Building by Steichen and Stieglitz; the latter's portrait studies of Georgia O'Keeffe; and the former's depictions of Auguste Rodin and his works. Daniel (curator in charge, dept. of photographs, Met) introduces this largely pictorial book with an intelligent recounting of the intertwined history of these three artists. Their progression in terms of aesthetic purity and accessibility to 21st-century eyes goes from Stieglitz to Steichen to Strand. The selection here of Strand's work is powerfully representative of his compositional acumen and includes a nearly flawless range of still lifes, portraits, and landscapes. The book closes with Strand's depiction of Stieglitz, a few years before Stieglitz's death, somberly locking eyes with the viewer. VERDICT A beautifully presented collection of superior works by the big three, this will be of great interest to photographers and aesthetes across the board.—Douglas F. Smith, Berkeley P.L., CA
Jewish Exponent - Robert Leiter
"Yale Press has done its best—which is, as always, superior work—in order to provide the finest reproductions of the most representative images in all three cases. It's a lovely way to get acquainted with them or to renew your relationship with these master craftsmen who looked to one another for inspiration and guidance."—Robert Leiter, Jewish Exponent

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300169010
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
11/30/2010
Pages:
180
Product dimensions:
10.40(w) x 12.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Malcolm Daniel is Curator in Charge of the Department of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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