STIEGLITZ & STEICHEN: “Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen’s Legacy” (2001)

The Family of Stieglitz and Steichen – Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen’s Legacy

By Jonathan Weinberg, Art in America, September 2001

Exhibitions in New York and Washington recently presented the intertwined and contentious histories of two emblematic figures of 20th-century American modernism.

One night in late May 1914, Alfred Stieglitz began to muse about the significance of 291, the gallery he had founded with Edward Steichen nine years earlier. Its real name was the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, but among the cognoscenti it was known by its address on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Perhaps turning 50 that year had put Stieglitz in a retrospective mood. He was also worried by the thinning crowds of visitors to the gallery. The excitement of giving such artists as Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso their American premieres was dissipating with the extraordinary success of the Armory Show in 1913 and the subsequent opening of several new modern art galleries in New York. Writing in Camera Work, Stieglitz sent out a call to the faithful–artists, critics, poets and collectors who had been connected with the gallery in one way or another–for their own views of what 291 represented to them: “what they see in it; what it makes them feel.” Modestly, he asked that they “eliminate, if possible, any reference” to himself.[1] Over the next several months he received 65 replies, all of which he published in a special issue of his magazine. Many of the writers’ fortunes were closely tied to Stieglitz’s success; perhaps not surprisingly, their responses were wildly complimentary. The one detractor was Steichen, who had helped start it all, yet now felt that the very inquiry into 291′s meaning was “impertinent, egoistic and previous. Previous insofar that it makes the process resemble an obituary or an inquest.” He saluted Stieglitz’s “broad generous understanding and support,” but claimed that 291 and, by implication, Stieglitz himself, were “merely marking time.”[2] For Steichen, writing as an expatriate artist in France at the onset of World War I, reminiscing was hardly an adequate response to the con flagration that was threatening Western civilization.

Almost a century later we witnessed a different attempt to gauge the meaning of 291 and the role played by its director in the rise of modernism in the United States. The National Gallery of Art gathered 190 paintings, drawings, sculptures and photographs to present “Modern Art and America: Alfred Stieglitz and His New York Galleries.” Exhibition curator Sarah Greenough also edited a massive catalogue with essays by a host of curators and academics who evaluated Stieglitz’s relationships with the major artists he exhibited. Just a few months earlier, New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art had unveiled “Edward Steichen,” a comprehensive retrospective curated by Barbara Haskell (the two shows overlapped by just one week). Moreover, at around the same time, Steichen’s widow, Joanna, published a hefty survey of his photographs titled Steichen’s Legacy: Photographs, 1895-1973. Important goals shared by both the Whitney exhibition and Joanna Steichen’s book were not only to bolster his reputation as a photographer, but also to assert his crucial role in the life of 291.

When the two men met in 1900 at the Camera Club of New York, Stieglitz was 36. His photographs had achieved international acclaim, and he was the leader in the campaign to raise the prestige of photography as an art form. Edward (or Eduard until he anglicized it after World War I) Steichen was Stieglitz’s junior by 15 years. Born in Belgium, he had grown up in Milwaukee, where he taught himself most of what he knew about the making of photographs and paintings. His vision was surprisingly sophisticated. He had the daring to pose himself off to the side in his self-portrait, The Young Photographer (1898), leaving the center of the picture all but empty. Steichen’s face is a blur, but we can make out his large, probing eyes. The small square to the left of his head suggests a picture frame waiting to be filled, what kinds of pictures will this young man make? Although he had been experimenting with photography since he was 16, when he first met Stieglitz, Steichen was en route to Paris to begin his professional art training.

Their friendship was cemented through letters, and when Steichen returned to the U.S. in 1902, he became a virtual member of the Stieglitz family. Three years later Steichen suggested that his former studio be converted into an exhibition space for the Photo-Secession, a loose federation of pictorialist photographers led by Stieglitz. Steichen designed the space, just as he designed the cover and frontispiece of Camera Work and became the principal publicist for Stieglitz’s circle. It is now widely accepted that it was Steichen’s idea to show non-photographic works alongside photographs both at 291 and in the new magazine, as it was Steichen, moonlighting as a sort of Paris-based agent for Stieglitz from 1906 to 1914, who arranged for the exhibition at 291 of works by Matisse (1908, 1910, 1912), Rodin (1908, 1910) and Cezanne (1911).

The New York and Washington exhibitions differed in shape and content. The Whitney promised a straightforward show on the development of Steichen’s work, yet Haskell was confronted with several daunting tasks. How do you make sense of a dual career–artist and curator–that encompassed so many shifts in direction? Another hurdle was the scale of the Whitney’s cavernous galleries, which do not lend themselves well to the display of photographs. (Indeed, Steichen’s pictorialist photos fared better in the traditionally proportioned rooms of the National Gallery.)

Haskell’s attempt to enliven the presentation of the portraits of celebrities with an extensive salon-style hanging was frustrating simply because it made many of the pictures difficult to see. The section devoted to “The Family of Man,” the legendary exhibition Steichen curated for the Museum of modern Art in 1955, was more successful. It conveyed something of the impact of that show’s novel hanging by mimicking the flee-floating display of mural-size montages.

In Washington the challenge was one of research. “Modern Art and America” conveyed the history of Stieglitz’s three galleries with an archeological fervor. Greenough and her staff did an extraordinary job of tracking down the actual works from landmark exhibitions in order to give the viewer a sense of what it was like to visit Stieglitz’s galleries over a 30-year period. The opening rooms were devoted to 291, which between 1905 and 1917 staged the American debuts of many European avant-garde figures, as well as presentations of African art and children’s art. Watercolors by Cezanne and Rodin, drawings and sculptures by Matisse, collages by Picasso and Braque, and photographs by Steichen, Stieglitz and Paul Strand all were on view at the museum. Missing were works by such artists as Gorden Craig, Pamela Coleman Smith and Alfred Maurer, whom Stieglitz championed but who did not make it into the canon of modern art. Greenough wisely alternated photographs, paintings, drawings and sculptures, as had Stieglitz, both in Camera Work and in his galleries, with the goal of initiating a dialogue between European and American modernism, and between photography and the other arts.

Since Stieglitz did not keep formal exhibition lists, Greenough drew on his photographs of 291 as a crucial source for reconstructing the shows. But it turns out that Stieglitz’s pictures are quite unreliable as installation shots. His 291–Picasso-Braque Exhibition (1915), for example, is not a photograph of the show but a careful, after-the-fact juxtaposition of Cubist works on paper, a reliquary figure made by the Kota people of Gabon and a wasp nest placed on a pedestal as if it were a sculpture.[3] One of the pleasures of “Modern Art and America” was its re-creation of this arrangement, which sought to draw a vital connection between natural or so-called primitive forms and modern ones.

Many of the works sent by Steichen from Paris bewildered Stieglitz at first. He was troubled, for instance, by the empty spaces in Cezanne’s watercolors (several of these were included in the National Gallery exhibition). But he became an enthusiastic supporter of Picasso’s Cubist work when, through Steichen’s introduction, he was given a tour of Gertrude and Leo Stein’s extensive collection in Paris. Stieglitz initially valued abstract art for its very newness, and because he believed that abstraction had ceded the job of realism to photography. Yet as he studied the works of the European avant-garde that were shown at 291, the distinction between the two mediums became less pronounced and harder to articulate. As different as they may look to us today, Stieglitz saw a connection between his own photograph Spring Showers–The Street Sweeper (1901) and a 1910 Cubist drawing of a woman by Picasso. He reproduced the two consecutively in Camera Work, proposing his cropped image of a young tree in new leaf as a precursor to Cubism, while Picasso’s drawing ratified Stieglitz’s fragmenting and flattening of form, which was already visible in Spring Showers and even more pronounced in his celebrated photograph The Steerage (1907).

After giving the flavor of Stieglitz’s important presentations of European modernism, the second haft of “Modern Art and America” charted his shift to promoting primarily his own work and that of six other American artists: Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Georgia O’Keeffe and Strand. At the National Gallery, each was given what amounted to a mini-retrospective.

To suggest something of the intimacy of Stieglitz’s galleries, the exhibition was hung in the relatively small rooms of the National Gallery’s first floor. The walls were painted in muted grays and green to approximate the austere effect of the design Steichen provided for 291. Yet I wish the National Gallery had attempted to actually reconstruct an original gallery space. A reconstruction would have conveyed one of the most startling things about 291–its diminutive size. We have grown accustomed to vast spaces in which even mural-size works of art are dwarfed by the scale of the gallery. But 291 had the dimensions of a rather snug private apartment, with the largest of its three rooms measuring barely 15 feet square. Stieglitz’s later Intimate Gallery (1925-29) and An American Place (1929-50) also had small, inviting rooms.

This logic of close viewing was extended in Stieglitz’s own later “Equivalents” series (1922-31). These photographs of clouds, frequently issued by Stieglitz as contact prints, measure a mere 3 5/8 by 4 5/8 inches. The only way to see them is to come in very close, but once you adjust to their scale, you are transported into the clouds.

Steichen’s pictorialist work was represented in Washington by only two photographs, too few to give a sense of how important it had been to Stieglitz early on. No other photographer, Stieglitz included, was better represented in the pages of Camera Work. But the intense friendship which helped set 291 into motion and launched Steichen’s career did not survive 291′s closing in 1917 and Steichen’s subsequent success as the chief photographer of Vogue and Vanity Fair. Steichen was never among the artists Stieglitz championed in his later galleries.

For Stieglitz and Steichen, 291 and Camera Work were not just about proselytizing modernism; they were about creating an association of like-minded individuals who, through friendship and mutual support, would forge a community. Stieglitz wrote to Steichen, “Real friendship is rarer than real art–That is, heavens knows, rare enough these days.”[4] Sales were a necessary evil, with all profits to be directed toward the artists’ support.

Stieglitz nurtured artists like Marin and Hartley with personal and esthetic advice and monetary assistance. In turn, his photography, as John Szarkowski notes in his superb study, Alfred Stieglitz at Lake George, was influenced by the artists he championed, Steichen included.[5] The young Steichen seems to have been always looking for surrogate fathers. He found one in Stieglitz, and also in Rodin. Upon meeting the sculptor, Steichen told him that it was his greatest dream to do his portrait. Not immune to flattery, Rodin gave permission for the photographer to visit him at home and in his studio, and soon Rodin was referring to him as “mon fils.”[6]

Steichen’s well-known 1902 photograph, Rodin, “Thinker” and “Victor Hugo” (seen both in New York and Washington), set the terms for his subsequent celebrity portraits, the most famous of which were also on view at the Whitney. Rather than disclose some surprising or unfamiliar aspect of the sitter, Steichen intensifies what is already known. The connection between The Thinker and its creator is emphasized by a mirroring of poses. We have only Rodin’s silhouette for a likeness, which gives us no sense of the man behind the reputation. The portrait is essentially iconic.

The same could be said for perhaps Steichen’s greatest picture, his 1928 photograph of Greta Garbo with her hands pushing her hair back above her forehead. Her arms form a protective shell, as if to convey her famous desire for privacy. Garbo strikes a pose that is as flattering as possible. Photography here is not about what Stieglitz’s circle would have called “authenticity,” but about finding a way to encapsulate the sitter’s fame and thus enhance it.

A baroque use of large areas of darkness, derived from his study of old-master chiaroscuro, was Steichen’s chief means of making his sitters seem powerful and complex, as if there were depth beneath their public personae. Many of his early works, paintings and photographs, are characterized by enormous expanses of shadow. For the most part, his early paintings are nocturnes in the style of Whistler. Steichen loved to photograph landscapes in moonlight and fog. Later, when he turned to more straightforward photography, he still used areas of soft focus to set off the subject. In this sense, the image of Gloria Swanson behind a veil (1924) that graces the cover of the Whitney’s catalogue is an appropriate symbol of Steichen’s practice in general. The portrait brings together his talent for creating iconic images, his sensitivity to fashion–the picture was shot through an elegant piece of black lace–and his discovery that photography is a medium of obscurity as well as illumination.

Given Steichen’s flattering portraits of artists he admired, his group of photographs of Stieglitz with his daughter Kitty (shot in 1904, printed the following year) comes as a shock. In the image that was on view at the Whitney, Kitty stares straight ahead with her right hand on her hip and her left arm awkwardly looped through her father’s elbow. Stieglitz, too, looks at the camera, but his back is turned away from Kitty. He stands in front of a moonlit landscape that, but for its oval shape, is very much like the kind of painting Steichen was making at the time. Rather than emerging from the darkness, the figures appear in danger of being engulfed by it. There is little sense of warmth between them. Stieglitz seems to be pulling Kitty along, but her stance with one arm akimbo suggests she won’t do his bidding. The gothic intensity of these images was undoubtedly a response to perceived familial difficulties, but it may have also been a projection of Steichen’s own misgivings about being too dependent on his mentor. He wrote bitterly in his autobiography, “Stieglitz only tolerated people close to him when they completely agreed with him and were of service.”[7]

The tension that was latent in Steichen’s portraits of Stieglitz and Kitty became overt with the onset of World War I. Steichen’s objection to reminiscing about the glories of 291 was a response to what he considered a lapse in Stieglitz’s energies, but it also may have stemmed from resentment that Stieglitz was no longer relying on him for advice about modern art. Moreover, Steichen and Stieglitz were deeply divided over the war itself, with Steichen passionately on the side of France, his second home, and Stieglitz leaning toward Germany, where he had been educated.

The terms of the relationship were irrevocably altered one day in 1915, when the young Paul Strand walked into 291 with a portfolio of photographs. Although Steichen’s photographs had dominated the earlier issues of Camera Work, the final issue (June 1917) was devoted entirely to Strand’s pictures. According to Stieglitz, Strand’s “work is pure. It is direct. It does not rely upon tricks of process.”[8] In celebrating “straight photography,” Stieglitz renounced the altered negatives and the painterly printing techniques that had been a staple of Steichen’s early work and, in effect, anointed Strand his new heir.

By now, Stieglitz also had come under the spell of Georgia O’Keeffe. His extraordinary extended portrait, begun in 1917 and made up of over 300 pictures which he took of her during their 30-year relationship, is the ultimate proof of his grand proclamation that when he photographed he made love? The intensity of Stieglitz’s new alliances left little place for Steichen, though it is doubtful that he still wanted to be a member of Stieglitz’s extended family.

As 291 faced its final days in New York, Steichen, who had volunteered for service after the U.S. entered the war in 1917, was making aerial photographs of German positions for the Allied cause. The soft focus and murky shadows of his nocturnes gave way to the need to make the clearest images possible. After the war he returned to France, where he resumed painting and began to photograph for the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency. He grew so dissatisfied with the work on canvas that he burned all the paintings in his possession, never to paint again, or so he said.

The Whitney exhibition was an opportunity to assess Steichen’s little-known painting career. In every case, Steichen’s photographic moonlit landscapes are more vivid and intense than the paintings. From 1911 to 1914, he struggled to complete a series of large decorative murals titled “In Exaltation of Flowers,” one of which was in the show. These depictions of theatrically draped women, festooned with garlands of flowers and gold leaf, and painted in a turn-of-the-century style, must have seemed dated even before the pigment had dried. Missing from the show, however, were the few extant abstractions he worked on in the early ’20s, which were not in the studio at the time of the bonfire. One of these, Le Tournesol (The Sunflower), 1920-22, is reproduced in the catalogue. Its flat geometric shapes recall the machine-inspired work that Morton Schamburg and Francis Picabia showed in New York in the teens.

In 1923 Conde Nast offered Steichen the job of chief portrait photographer for Vanity Fair and fashion photographer for Vogue. Steichen’s magazine work was elaborately staged in the studio, and his models, whether celebrities or professional beauties, were people whose business it was to look good in public. By comparison, the straight photography advocated by Stieglitz and Strand demanded the use of available light. Ideally, motifs were to be found in the world, not fabricated to make a beautiful picture. In marshalling the talents of clothes designers, makeup artists and art directors, Steichen might seem to have forsaken the Stieglitz circle’s conception of art-making as autonomous self-expression; yet Steichen would have argued that the resulting pictures were no less the reflection of his esthetic vision.

Steichen’s brother-in-law and close friend, the poet Carl Sandburg, published an essay in a 1929 monograph of Steichen’s photographs which was based on conversations with the artist. Sandburg insisted that all of Steichen’s work, whether commissioned or not, was “commercial.” “It seems to be Steichen’s theory,” he went on, “that the technic and the creative imagination of a man can work as surely in commercial art as in `art for art’s sake.’” He quoted Steichen’s assertion that “there has never been a period when the best thing we had was not commercial art.”[10]

It is hard to imagine a position more at odds with that of Stieglitz. Since he had a private income, Stieglitz never had to worry about seeking commercial work. His portraits are almost always of intimate friends, the artists and critics from his circle. Indeed, such portraits were a means of forging his extended family. His subjects’ very vulnerability–O’Keeffe’s tired eyes and disheveled hair (1918), or Demuth’s impossibly thin and long fingers (1923)–is expressive of their creativity. By contrast, there are very few portraits of vulnerable-looking people in Steichen’s oeuvre. Even the homeless women who posed for his Travelers Aid Society publicity campaign (1932) during the Depression look healthy and well fed.

Stieglitz’s rants against the adverse effects of money on art have seemed hypocritical to certain critics. Despite his claims that he did not know how to handle sales, there is considerable evidence that Stieglitz could be a shrewd negotiator. He was not above striking deals that would inflate the prices of works of art, as in the case of the Marin watercolor he sold to Duncan Phillips in 1927 for $6,000, three times the amount that artist’s watercolors usually fetched and an unheard-of price for a work on paper by any contemporary American. The truth is that Stieglitz clinched the deal by giving Phillips two additional pictures, one for free, the other at a greatly reduced price.[11]

At the root of Stieglitz’s handling of prices is the issue of status and respect. In Stieglitz’s idealistic conception, the artist does not work for hire. Stieglitz expended enormous energy protecting his artists from the pressures of commercial sales, so that they could feel free to produce art as they saw fit. His first gesture of friendship to the young Steichen had been to buy some of his photographs.

In the end, Steichen’s best case for the beneficial effects of commerce is his own output. His fashion pictures are most effective when they are seen in magazines, where their bold shapes and sharp contrasts complement the text and stylish graphics. On the walls of a museum, divorced from the sophisticated layouts of the Conde Nast publications, the photographs become repetitive and insubstantial. This is why I was most fascinated by the vitrines at the Whitney, which displayed vintage issues of Vogue and Vanity Fair. For all the elegance of the model wearing a hat and cape from Bendels, this photograph (1933) only comes alive when it is seen next to its caption: “When you go to the theatre in a hat (and everyone will, these nights)–let it be something small and extravagantly feminine and ostrich bedecked such as this one which makes you think of Fritz Schiff, and after-theatre suppers at Delmonico’s, and ladies stepping out of hansom cabs in 1900.”[12]

Despite his earlier enthusiasm for working in the commercial arena, Steichen eventually grew weary of photographing models, celebrities and consumer goods. He resigned from the magazines in 1938. During World War II he supervised naval photography and publicity. He also curated “Road to Victory” for the Museum of Modern Art. This show brought the techniques of magazine layout to an exhibition setting. Like an art editor, Steichen blew up and cropped pictures by a wide range of photographers; Sandburg provided captions. The resounding success of the show led to Steichen’s appointment as MOMA’s curator of photography in 1947.

Steichen completely reoriented the museum’s department to emphasize photography’s role in mass communication. The culmination of Steichen’s career at MOMA was the overwhelmingly popular exhibition “The Family of Man,” which reprised the methods of “Road to Victory,” but with a new message of world peace.[13] “The Family of Man” was significant for Steichen’s manipulation of images by some of the most famous photographers of the 20th century, including Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Roy De Carava, Dorothea Lange and Russell Lee. Instead of the photographer as an autonomous artist, he or she became merely, as Christopher Phillips puts it, “the illustrator of (another’s) ideas.”[14] Stieglitz’s protege had ended up producing exhibitions in which everything that Stieglitz had fought for had been effectively forsaken.

One sign that Stieglitz’s conception of photography as an autonomous expression still holds sway is the reverence with which Haskell treated individual photos in the Steichen retrospective. Almost all the images were shown under glass as art prints, rather than in their original magazine context. The National Gallery exhibition was just as respectful to the works on view, regardless of medium. A case in point is Duchamp’s Fountain (1917)–a urinal placed on its side and signed “R. Mutt”–which was displayed as if it were an esthetic object of great beauty. This particular “readymade” is not the urinal Duchamp submitted to the exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists in 1917 (where it was refused), but an authorized replica created in 1964. Sometime before the first Fountain was lost, Stieglitz photographed it in front of Hartley’s painting Warriors. That setup was lovingly re-created in the National Gallery show, but the shock of the original presentation could not be recaptured. The Fountain had become a masterpiece among masterpieces rather than a fissure in the making and exhibiting of art.

Despite the inclusive sound of the title “Modem Art and America,” much of what was happening in the U.S. during the first half of the 20th century was deliberately excluded from Stieglitz’s walls. For the most part, the artists he championed after World War I concentrated on landscape and still life. Looking at the work from the ’30s in Washington–whether O’Keeffe’s paintings of New Mexico, Marin’s watercolors of Maine or Dove’s abstract evocations of light and sound–the viewer sensed an escape from the poverty and human dislocation of the Depression that was central to the imagery of many other artists of the time. Every now and then, Stieglitz would aim his own camera outside the confines of the gallery, but the city of towers he shows us in My Windows at An American Place, Southwest, 1932 could almost be empty of inhabitants.

An exception to the predominance of still life and landscape in the second half of the show were three of Demuth’s self-styled “portrait posters” of key members of Stieglitz’s circle. Considering Stieglitz’s hatred of commerce, it is ironic that Demuth produced these symbolic works by borrowing from advertising: in the portrait posters, the artist’s name plays the role of a trademark, as in an ad. Demuth’s 1926 portrait of Marin sets off his friend’s last name against the red, white and blue stripes of an American flag. The picture’s prominent red arrow functioned in the National Gallery as a directional signal moving visitors onward to the galleries devoted to the work of Stieglitz’s “Seven Americans.”

Of course, Demuth’s hand-painted posters are different from the mass advertising in which Steichen engaged. Still, they raise the possibility that the promotion of an artist and the promotion of toothpaste might not be so different. The merging of art and commerce is as much a part of the history of art as is the attempt to keep them separate. The trick is to keep the two terms in tension–neither confusing them nor setting them up as polar opposites. Much the same can be said of evaluating the shared and divergent legacies of Stieglitz and Steichen.

[1.] Alfred Stieglitz, untitled editorial, Camera Work, no. 47, 1914-15, reprinted in Jonathan Green, ed., Camera Work, a Critical Anthology, New York, Aperture, 1973, p. 284.

[2.] Eduard J. Steichen, “291,” Camera Work, no. 47, 1914-15, reprinted in Green, pp. 195-97.

[3.] See Helen M. Shannon’s excellent discussion of this photograph, “African Art, 1914: The Root of Modern Art,” in Sarah Greenough, ed., Modern Art in America: Alfred Stieglitz and His New York Galleries, Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, 2000, pp. 169-79.

[4.] Photostat of inscription, “Memorabilia,” Edward Steichen Archives, Museum of Modern Art, cited in Penelope Niven, Steicheu, A Biography, New York, Clarkson Potter, 1997, p. 18.

[5.] John Szarkowski, Alfred Stieglitz at Lake George, New York, Museum of Modern Art, 1995.

[6.] Joanna Steichen, Steichen’s Legacy: Photographs, 1895-1973, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, 2000, p. 148.

[7.] Edward Steichen, A Life in Photography, Garden City, New York, Doubleday & Co., 1963, n.p.

[8.] Alfred Stieglitz, “Our Illustrations,” Camera Work, no. 49/50, 1917, reprinted in Green, p. 329.

[9.] Dorothy Norman, Alfred Stieglitz, American Seer, New York, Aperture, 1973, p. 10.

[10.] Carl Sandburg, Steichen the Photographer, New York, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1929, pp. 51-54.

[11.] See Timothy Robert Rodgers, “Alfred Stieglitz, Duncan Phillips and the `$6,000 Marin,’” Oxford Art Journal, vol. 15, no. 1, 1992.

[12.] Vogue, Nov. 1, 1933, p. 47.

[13.] “The Family of Man” opened at the Museum of Modern Art in 1955 and, in different versions, traveled around the globe, including to the U.S.S.R., India and Japan. Christopher Phillips notes the way the exhibition raised Cold War anxieties about nuclear destruction through the image of an explosion of an atom bomb, only to resolve such worries in its message of shared values overcoming cultural differences. See “The Judgment Seat of Photography,” in Richard Bolton, ed., The Contest of Meaning, Cambridge, MIT Press, 1989, p. 28.

[14.] Ibid.

“Modern Art and America: Alfred Stieglitz and His New York Galleries” appeared at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. [Jan. 28-Apr. 22, 2001]. Exhibition curator Sarah Greenough edited the 611-page catalogue with essays by various curators and scholars. “Edward Steichen” was on view at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art [Oct. 5, 2000-Feb. 4, 2001]. An essay by exhibition curator Barbara Haskell introduces the 128-page illustrated catalogue.

Author: Jonathan Weinberg is a painter and art historian. His book, Ambition and Love in Modern American Art, has just been published by Yale University Press.

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