Alfred Stieglitz Photography

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Alfred Stieglitzwas, born on January 1, 1864, used to be an American promoter of contemporary art, as well as a photographer who grew to become very influential in his occupation of making photography a recognized shape of art. Stieglitz, a drawing dealer, exhibition director, commissioner, and also an editor was properly known for his work of art in the improvement and growth of modern pictures in the early 20th century in America (Kohn 6; Meyer 2). His work of profession aimed at the improvement of modern art and pictures in America during the twentieth century.

Besides his photography, Stieglitz was acknowledged for the New York workmanship exhibitions that he kept running in the early piece of the twentieth century. He presented numerous cutting edge European craftsmen to the U.S., for example, Edward Steichen, Gertrude Kasebier, Clarence H. White, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Annie Brigman, and Frank Eugene among others, to promote the art of photography (Vila, Centeno & Kennedy 167). In 1884, Stieglitz’s parents returned to America from Germany, but he remained in Germany as he gathered books on photography and picture takers in Europe and the U.S. Through his self-contemplate, he considered photography to be a type of workmanship. Stieglitz composed his initially article, A Word or Two about Amateur Photography in Germany, in 1887. He further wrote more articles for England and Germany magazines on the technical and the aesthetic aspects of photography (Ambrosio 250). He won many prizes in the Amateur Photographer competition after which his reputation began to spread through several German and British photographic magazines.

Stieglitz’s sister Flora died in 1890, forcing him to return to new York where he continued to explore in his detailed work. Even though he considered himself as an artist, he refused to sell his photographs (Lucas 87). For this reason, his father bought him a small photography business to enable carry out his chosen profession of photographic work to help him earn a living. Stieglitz demanded images of high quality and therefore paid high wages to his employees for their good and quality photographs. It made it difficult for the Photochrome Engraving Company to make a good profit.

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Stieglitz regularly wrote for The American Amateur Photographer magazine which earned him many awards at his photograph exhibitions as well as the joint show of the Boston Camera Club, Photographic Society of Philadelphia and the Society of Amateur Photographers of New York (Lucas 94). Eva Watson-Schütze, one of the famous photographers in New York, urged Stieglitz to establish an exhibition which would be judged solely by photographers who knew about photography and the technical characteristics that accompanied it, unlike painters and other artists.

Charles DeKay, a photographer in the National Arts Club, invited Stieglitz in December 1901 to put together an exhibition in which he would have the full power of following his inclinations. He assembled a collection of prints from a close circle of his friends I a period of two months, which became to be known as the Photo-Secession (Rifai 798). He was not just announcing a withdrawal from the general masterful limitations of the time additionally particularly from the best possible oversight of the Camera Club. The Photo-Secession indicate opened at the Arts Club toward the beginning of March 1902, where it turned out to be promptly fruitful.

Stieglitz started planning an arrangement to distribute an altogether autonomous magazine of grand photography to take to the following level the creative principles of the Photo-Secessionist. By July, he had completely surrendered as manager of Camera Notes (Rifai 799). After one month, Stieglitz distributed an outline for another diary called Camera Work. He chose it would be the best and most lavish of photographic distributions. The principal issue was printed four months after the fact, in December 1902, and like the majority of alternate matters, it contained some critical writings on photography and beautiful hand-pulled photogravures, aesthetics and art, and reviews and commentaries on photographers and exhibitions(Rifai 801). Camera Work was Stieglitz's first photographic journal to have a visualized focus. Through this magazine, he influenced the art of photography where he expressed that photography was to seen as a medium of artistic self-expression of fine art. Hence the magazine served as the beginning of promoting modern art in America.

Stieglitz argued that it was important to reproduce images of the highest quality in Camera Work. He stresses that photography is the primary process of monochrome that expresses artistic beauty and gradations in tone. Hence one must be very careful when reproducing photographic work (Hodgen 201; Steichen 55). He published reviews and photographs of exhibitions as well as the work of other artists in almost all the pages of his magazine to promote his famous gallery, the Photo-Secession.

He always balances depictions of soft, short-lived, natural processes with important ideas in his early work, which he draws from the American industry. He sought to soften the brutality which was caused by the rise of American power by presenting it in nature through his photographic work. Stieglitz describes the devolution of Pictorial photography and the rise of a new approach in his later work, which showed the importance of photography in the revelation of the truth about the modern day America (Berger 29).

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Important Art by Alfred Stieglitz

Below are some of the most significant artworks and analysis of Alfred Stieglitz which show some of his greatest achievements given his major creative periods.

Winter, Fifth Avenue (1892)

Stieglitz purchased his direct held camera in late 1892, a Folmer and Schwing 4x5 plate film camera, which he used to take two of his best-known pictures, Winter, Fifth Avenue and The Terminal. Winter, Fifth Avenue shows one of the busy streets of New York during a time when there was a snowstorm in the winter season. Stieglitz, waited for the perfect moment to take the photograph of the ideal composition of this street, a technique rarely used by most painters who would instead manufacture the picture. The primary focus of the image is a dark horse and carriage which get swallowed by the snow trail. The snow blurs the full appearance of the urban environment, hence making the photo unclear. The depiction of this photograph crudely mechanizes the violence of the natural world (Ambrosio 64). This work of art depicts from The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

The Terminal (1893)

This photograph shows steam rising from the horses in the cold winter. Stieglitz used a smaller camera to ease his mobility and capturing short moments in time. The steam from the horses renders the images look rather like a painting and not a captured image. This type of atmosphere was important to Stieglitz as it provided a means to bind the image together. It also helped in showing the kind of technical mastery which his audiences approved from his painting (Kreitner 73).

The Steerage (1907)

The Steerage is a photograph that shows voyagers boarding a swarmed steamer going from New York to Bremen in Germany. They have tried to move and become citizens of America, but have been forced to return to their home. Stieglitz's sympathy for this people made him take the photo in the description of the beginning modernist photography. This image marked Stieglitz move from the phase of the rich tone of his earlier pictures. Hence it has come to be seen as a something that can be used to judge the beginnings of modernist photography. The image shows an interest in working class or scenes of industrial work and labor. Stieglitz promoted this picture by including it in his journal, Camera Work, in 1911, in explanation of some particular issues about his new work (Lucas 85).

From the Back Window at 291 (1915)

Stieglitz took this photograph through the opening of his well-known avant-garde arcade at night. The photo shows the geometry of cityscape in New York. The ceasing artificial lights modify the total darkness. This picture was taken several years after Stieglitz changed from the use of rich tonality in Pictorial photography. However, it interpreted a piece of transition of events, that is, the dramatic effects of the lights at night review his initial work, yet the geometric types of the rooftops in the frontal area review the worries of his later, straight photography (Rifai 64).

In the late spring of 1946, Stieglitz persevered through a lethal stroke and which put him into a condition of obviousness. His significant other O'Keeffe was with him when he kicked the bucket. Stieglitz delivered more than 2,500 mounted photos over his vocation. After his demise, his significant other collected an arrangement of what she considered the best of his photos that he had by and by mounted. O'Keeffe gave the principal key arrangement of 1,317 Stieglitz's photos to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DCIn 1949. She included another 325 arrangement of photographs taken by Stieglitz of her in 1980, including numerous nudes. Presently numbering 1,642 photos, it is the biggest, most total gathering of Stieglitz's work anyplace on the planet. In 2002 the National Gallery distributed a two-volume, 1,012-page list that replicated the whole center set alongside itemized comments about each photo.

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Alfred Stieglitz influenced photography as a work of art to promote the modern art in America. His professional work aimed at the developing modern art and photography in America during the twentieth century.He supported his photographic work by publishing the magazine, Camera Work, where he expressed that photography was to seen as a medium of artistic self-expression of fine art. Alfred Stieglitz is a very influential photographer in the history of visual arts in America, evident in his greatest work of art America has ever produced. Alfred Stieglitz had more significant impact on American art than any other person has had as a photographer, a discoverer, and promoter of photographers and artists in other media, and as a publisher, patron, and collector.

Work Cited

Ambrosio, C. (2014). ‘Beauty is the universal seen’: objectivity as trained vision in Alfred Stieglitz’s experimental aesthetics. Visual Studies, 29(3), 250-260.

Berger, C. A. (2014). Progressive Nostalgia: Alfred Stieglitz, his Circle and the Romantic Anti-Capitalist Critique of Modernity(Doctoral dissertation, UCL (University College London)).

Hodgen, J. (2015). Upon Reading That Among the Twenty-five Thousand Pages of Love Letters That Passed Between Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe Over a Period of Thirty Years, He Had Once Confessed to Her How Much He Had Wanted to Photograph Her Throat. Ploughshares, 41(1), 102-103.

Kohn, T. (2016). An Eternal Flame: Alfred Stieglitz on New York’s Lower East Side. American Art, 30(3), 112-129.

Kreitner, R. (2015). Henry James, Photography, and New York City. Raritan, 35(2), 123.

Lucas, T. (2016). Georgia O'Keeffe: still life at Tate. The Lancet, 388(10055), 1975.

Meyer, J. A. (2015). Inspired Images: On Georgia O'Keeffe & Alfred Stieglitz's Collaborative Photographs.

Rifai, N. (2014). Interpretation of Alvin Coburn's The Bridge, Venice in pen and ink. Clinical Chemistry, 60(5), 798-799.

Steichen, E. (2015). Portrait of Clarence H. White. Tampa Review, 50(1), 86-86.

Vila, A., Centeno, S. A., & Kennedy, N. W. (2014). A Closer Look at Red Pictorialist Photographs by René Le Bègue and Robert Demachy. Metropolitan Museum Studies in Art, Science, and Technology, 2, 167.

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