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Artists Alfred Stieglitz
Alfred Stieglitz Photo

Alfred Stieglitz

American Photographer and Publisher

Movements and Styles: Modern Photography, Straight Photography

Born: January 1, 1864 - Hoboken, New Jersey

Died: July 13, 1946 - New York, New York

Alfred Stieglitz Timeline

Quotes

"In the past few women may have attempted to express themselves in painting... But somehow all the attempts I had seen, until O'Keeffe, were weak because the elemental force and vision back of them were never overpowering enough to throw off the Male Shackles."
Alfred Stieglitz
"The goal of art was the vital expression of self."
Alfred Stieglitz
"There are many schools of painting. Why should there not be many schools of photographic art? There is hardly a right and a wrong in these matters, but there is truth, and that should form the basis of all works of art."
Alfred Stieglitz
"I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing."
Alfred Stieglitz
"Wherever there is light, one can photograph."
Alfred Stieglitz

"In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality."

Alfred Stieglitz Signature

Synopsis

A vital force in the development of modern art in America, Alfred Stieglitz's significance lies as much in his work as an art dealer, exhibition organizer, publisher, and editor as it does in his career as a photographer. He is credited with spearheading the rise of modern photography in America in the early years of the 20th century, publishing the periodical Camera Work (1903-17) and forming the exhibition society, the Photo-Secession. He also ran a series of influential galleries, starting with 291, which he used not only to exhibit photography, but also to introduce European modernist painters and sculptors to America and to foster America's own modernist figures - including his later wife, Georgia O'Keeffe. Insistent that photography warranted a place among the fine arts, Stieglitz's own work showed great technical mastery of tone and texture and reveled in exploring atmospherics. In later years, influenced in part by Cubism and other trends, he became interested in straight photography, favoring more clarity and less lush effects.

Key Ideas

Emerging first in the milieu of Pictorial photography, Stieglitz sought to gain recognition for his medium by producing effects that paralleled those found in other fine arts such as painting. Many of his peers resorted to elaborate re-touching to create an impression of the handmade, but Stieglitz relied more on compositional effects and mastery of tone, often concentrating on natural effects such as snow and steam to create qualities similar to those of the Impressionists.
Stieglitz's early work often balances depictions of soft, ephemeral, natural processes with motifs drawn from American industry. Romantic in spirit, he was troubled yet fascinated by the rise of American power and sought to soften its apparent brutality by cloaking it in nature.
His later work reflects the decline of Pictorial photography and the rise of a new approach that claimed a value for photography as a revealer of truths about the modern world. Turning to more geometric motifs, effects of sharp focus, and high contrast, it celebrates a more mechanized phase of modern life in America.

Biography

Alfred Stieglitz Photo

Childhood

Alfred Stieglitz was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, just before the end of the American Civil War. Born to German-Jewish immigrants, Edward Stieglitz and Hedwig Ann Werner, Alfred was the eldest of six children. In 1881, the Stieglitz family fled the East Coast and moved back to Germany, hopeful that the German school system would challenge young Alfred in the way America's had not. The following year, while enrolled at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, Stieglitz was exposed to photography for the first time.

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Alfred Stieglitz Biography Continues

Influences and Connections

Influences on Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Influenced by Artist
Artists, Friends, Movements
Alfred Stieglitz
Interactive chart with Alfred Stieglitz's main influences, and the people and ideas that the artist influenced in turn.
View Influences Chart

Artists

Adolf von MenzelAdolf von Menzel
Wilhelm HasemannWilhelm Hasemann
Robert DemachyRobert Demachy
Edward SteichenEdward Steichen
Eadweard MuybridgeEadweard Muybridge

Personal Contacts

George DavisonGeorge Davison
Alfred Horsley HintonAlfred Horsley Hinton
Hermann Wilhelm VogelHermann Wilhelm Vogel

Movements

The Barbizon SchoolThe Barbizon School
Photo-SecessionPhoto-Secession
CubismCubism

Influences on Artist
Alfred Stieglitz
Alfred Stieglitz
Years Worked: 1883 - 1934
Influenced by Artist

Artists

Ansel AdamsAnsel Adams
Eliot PorterEliot Porter
Edward WestonEdward Weston
Imogen CunninghamImogen Cunningham

Personal Contacts

Georgia O'KeeffeGeorgia O'Keeffe
Max WeberMax Weber
Arthur DoveArthur Dove

Movements

Group f/64Group f/64
Abstract PhotographyAbstract Photography

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Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors

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Edited and published by The Art Story Contributors
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