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A brief biography of alfred stieglitz and his photographic journal camera notes

For an explanation of technical and historical terms, see: After attending the prestigious Charlier Institute, it was decided that he should be educated according to more exacting German standards.

  • This he achieved in 1896, by helping to establish the Camera Club of New York, from a merger of the two big photographic clubs in the city, the Society of Amateur Photographers and the New York Camera Club;
  • For more record prices, see;
  • In 1910, he organized a show for Albright Art Gallery, covering more than six hundred stunning prints by various artists;
  • The change was perhaps due in part to his recognition that—for the most part—the work in the Buffalo exhibition represented a dead end and would lead only to progressively weaker repetition.

Accordingly, in 1881 his father sold his business and moved the family back to Germany, where Steiglitz was enrolled at the high school in Karlsruhe, while his siblings studied in Weimar. As it happened his chemistry class was taught by Hermann Wilhelm Vogel, an important scientist in the new field of photography, an area in which Germany was beginning to specialize.

At the same time he befriended the German artist Adolph Menzel 1815-1905 who introduced him to the idea of working and creating art directly from nature. Inspired by these contacts, Steiglitz bought his first camera and tripod, and spent time touring parts of Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, taking thousands of photographs of peasants and country scenes.

For a short account of the early inventions and evolution of camera art, please see: Emerging Photographer In 1884, his parents - who themselves had been touring the Continent - moved back to New York, leaving their eldest son in Germany, where he devoted himself entirely to photography.

Over the next few years he began to develop his own original ideas on the subject, with the aid of a growing personal library on the theory and practice of photography, along with details of talented photographers and their work. His studies took him into areas of fine art as well as aesthetics. From 1887, when he submitted his first article, "A Word or Two about Amateur Photography in Germany", to the English magazine Amateur Photographer, he wrote regularly for magazines in England and Germany.

Also in 1887 he won first prize in a photographic competition run by Amateur Photographer, a feat he repeated the following year, and in several more magazines thereafter. Helped by these articles and his award-winning snaps, his reputation as an emerging lens-based artist began to spread across Europe. New York and Marriage In 1890, following the sudden death of his sister Flora, a reluctant Steiglitz returned to New York, a city he now considered parochial, uncultured and remote from the European multicultural mainstream.

Alfred Stieglitz

His doting father helped matters by buying him a small photography business, and Stieglitz also began writing for American Amateur Photographer magazine - where he soon became joint-editor, while his photographs started to be showcased at important exhibitions, including the prestigious joint exhibition of the Society of Amateur Photographers of New York, the Photographic Society of Philadelphia, and the Boston Camera Club.

He bought his first hand-held camera and, in November 1893, married Emmeline Obermeyer, nine years his junior. Although rich, she shared few of his artistic or cultural interests. As a result, the marriage was not a success.

Leader of American Fine Art Photography Photo-Secession Meanwhile, anxious to prove that the new medium of photography could be just as artistic as other types of artSteiglitz determined to raise the status of the medium and its artists. This he achieved in 1896, by helping to establish the Camera Club of New York, from a merger of the two big photographic clubs in the city, the Society of Amateur Photographers and the New York Camera Club.

He became Vice-President of the new organization and editor of Camera Notes, its monthly journal, using the latter post to support and publish works by those cameramen who shared his artistic view of photography. In 1902, this high-handedness led to a grassroots revolt, which - following a highly successful photography show at the National Arts Club, organized by Steiglitz - led to him and others "seceding" from the group in 1902 to form the Photo-Secession - named after the anti-establishment Secession movements sweeping Europe, such as the Munich Secession 1892the Berlin Secession movement 1898 and the Vienna Secession.

This new body focused firmly on the aesthetics and craftsmanship of photography. Steiglitz's closest artist-friend at this time, was the Luxembourg-born photographer and painter Edward Steichen, whom he had met in 1900 at the First Chicago Photographic Salon.

Steichen had trained originally as a painter, and was able to share many of his painterly ideas with his new colleague. It soon became known as "291" after its address on Fifth Avenue. Through his writing, exhibitions, and other social networking, Stieglitz became a strong supporter of creative photography, as well as avant-garde art generally, and went to great efforts to inform modern artists in America, about the latest modern art movementsnotably Cubism 1908-14Futurism c.

Indeed, during the decade 1905-1914, "291" metamorphosed from being an outlet for exhibiting Photo-Secessionist photography, to being the foremost centre for modern European and American artists.

With the advice of Steichen, Marius de Zayas, and Max Weber, all of whom had contacts with artists in France, "291" became the first place in America to showcase works by the Fauvist Henri Matisse 1869-1954the Post-Impressionist Cezanne 1839-1906the naif painter Henri Rousseau Le Douanier 1844-1910the Cubists Pablo Picasso 1881-1973 and Francis Picabia 1879-1953as well as the famous sculptors Auguste Rodin 1840-1917 and Constantin Brancusi 1876-1957.

In addition, he also promoted representational and abstract paintings by modernist American artists including the master watercolourist John Marin 1870-1953as well as Marsden Hartley 1877-1943Arthur Dove 1880-1946Alfred H Maurer 1868-1932Abraham Walkowitz 1878-1965Charles Demuth 1883-1935and others.

Georgia O'Keeffe The year 1917 marked an important watershed in Steiglitz's life. Hampered by lack of resources, a disfunctional marriage and uncertainty about his promotional activities, he had only one real interest: As a result, he wound up what was left of the Photo-Secession, halted publication of Camera Work and closed "291".

He also separated from his wife Emmy and set up home with O'Keeffe, whom he photographed obsessively, capturing a wide variety of moods and positions in more than 350 prints, including a number of the most expensive images of female nudes in history.

  1. Returning with his family to America in 1890, he became a member of and advocate for the school of pictorial photography in which photography was considered to be a legitimate form of artistic expression.
  2. His collaborated work with Clarence H.
  3. After winning this and other photography competitions he started getting recognition in UK and Germany and various magazines started publishing his photographs.

In his general attitude to photography, Stieglitz was becoming less interested in the manipulation of the final image, preferring a sharp focus manner, as illustrated by his huge number of studies fragments of O'Keeffe, by his photographs of clouds Equivalentsand by his support of the Cubist-style photography of Paul Strand 1890-1976 and the ' Precisionism ' of Charles Sheeler 1883-1965. For contemporary developments in Europe, see: The Intimate Gallery During the period 1918-1923, Steiglitz continued to focus on his photography of O'Keeffe, while promoting other American artists in the Anderson Galleries and other venues.

In 1924, after his divorce from Emmy was finalized, he married O'Keeffe, the same year that the Boston Museum of Fine Arts acquired a collection of twenty-seven of his photographs. This was a considerable achievement for Steiglitz, not least because it was the first time a major art museum had included photographs in its permanent collection. In 1925, he was offered a permanent space in the Anderson Galleries, which he accepted and renamed The Intimate Gallery. In 1928, as his marriage to O'Keeffe was starting to weaken as a result of his reluctance to leave New York, the 64-year old Steiglitz began having an affair with a 22-year old, named Dorothy Norman.

However, while O'Keeffe was beginning to have concerns about her husband's insistence on strict control of her paintings, she was not fazed by his new Dorothy and, although they might often be apart during the Fall, winter and Spring, she wrote to him every week with enthusiasm, as though nothing had changed.

In 1936 he put on one of the first shows for the black-and-white wilderness photographer Ansel Adams in New York City. In 1937, the Cleveland Museum of Art mounted the first major exhibition of Stieglitz's own photography, but the following year he suffered the first of a series of six heart attacks, that hit him regularly until in his death in 1946.

  1. By the 1909 season, however, the gallery began to promote progressive art in a variety of media, and the work of painters, sculptors, and printmakers almost usurped the gallery space.
  2. Photo-Secession was dedicated to promoting photography as an art form.
  3. Library of Congress, Washington, D.
  4. Born in 1864 in New Jersey, Stieglitz moved with his family to Manhattan in 1871 and to Germany in 1881.
  5. In 1907 he began to exhibit the work of other artists, both European and American, making the gallery a fulcrum of modernism.

Legacy Alfred Stieglitz was the most influential figure in the history of modern art in America, at least between the years 1900 and 1935. This doesn't mean he was the greatest American artist of the period, rather that his multiplicity of roles - photographer, patron of modern artists, dealer, collector, exhibition curator, writer and publisher - collectively had a greater impact on American art than that of any other individual, during the period. For another Jewish modernist artist who made a large contribution to photographic art, see Laszlo Moholy-Nagy 1895-1946the Hungarian experimental artist and designer, who founded the Institute of Design in Chicago.

Collections Thanks to meticulous checking, cataloguing and placement of his photographs, by his wife, Georgia O'Keeffe, works by Alfred Stieglitz can be seen in many of America's best art museumsincluding: For more record prices, see: