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23 of 51

Alfred Stieglitz

(American, 1864–1946)

The Flat Iron—New York

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Object Details

Artist

Alfred Stieglitz

Date

1902

Medium

Photogravure

Dimensions

Image: 12 7/8 × 6 5/8 in. (32.7 × 16.8 cm)Sheet: 18 × 12 1/2 in. (45.7 × 31.8 cm)Mount: 18 1/4 × 13 1/16 in. (46.3 × 33.2 cm)Mat: 20 1/2 × 15 15/16 in. (52 × 40.5 cm)

Credit Line

Bequest of William P. Chapman, Jr., Class of 1895

Object
Number

62.3266

By the 1890s photography had effectively broken down into documentary and pictorialist, or “art” pho(…)

By the 1890s photography had effectively broken down into documentary and pictorialist, or “art” photography. During the next half century, Stieglitz’s name would become synonymous with the pictoralist movement through his almost unstinting championship of photography as an art form. As a student in Berlin, Stieglitz studied photochemistry; returning to the United States in 1890 he became a partner in the Heliochrome Company, a photoengraving business, and served as editor of the American Amateur Photographer from 1893Ð96. This was followed by the editorship of Camera Notes, the publication of the new Camera Club of New York. By the turn of the century Stieglitz was an internationally known photographer. In 1902 he established the Photo-Secession with an exhibition at the National Arts Club and at the same time resigned as editor of Camera Notes to start a new quarterly, CameraWork. His standards for the publication were high: the gravures were printed on Japan tissue, retaining the delicate tones of the original and then hand-tipped into the publication. The Flat Iron, published in the October 1903 issue, distinguishes the subtle nuances of the process and shows Stieglitz’s own high standards. The image itself reflects the dichotomy of his own vision of New York as powerful and modern, yet still almost fragile in its beauty. (From “A Handbook of the Collection: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art,” 1998)

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