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Facing the Lens: Alfred Stieglitz

Posted on by tamsp

Imogen Cunningham
American, 1883–1976
Alfred Stieglitz at An American Place, New York, 1934
Gelatin silver print
Ethel Morrison Van Derlip Fund 76.51
Image: © 1970 The Imogen Cunningham Trust

Alfred Stieglitz led the vanguard to establish photography as a fine art in the United States around the turn of the twentieth century. To this end, he organized photographers, published magazines, ran galleries, and made his own creative images. He began as a naturalistic photographer, morphed into a pictorialist around the turn of the twentieth century, and finally embraced straightforward picture-making methods after World War I. From late 1929 until his death in 1946, he presided over An American Place, a gallery on Madison Avenue that showed a small group of American modernist painters. Imogen Cunningham probably made these this portrait of Stieglitz during the solo show of his wife, Georgia O’Keeffe, in early 1934, as one of her flower paintings hangs behind the subject.

Facing the Lens: Portraits of Photographers is on view January 21—August 28, 2011 in the Harrison Photography Gallery 365.

Audio Tour
Eight photographers featured as subjects in the show talk about photography and their work. Hear them on your mobile device at

Participate in the Exhibition
Upload your self-portrait or photos of photographers to the MIA’s Facing the Lens group on Flickr. Your photos will be featured in the gallery and also on the MIA’s Web site. Please include your name, title of photo, and the date the photo was taken.
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