Alfred Stieglitz


Right Through the Very Heart of It
June 4 – July 31, 2009

Small Wonders
July 6 – August 25, 2006

Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) was born in New York City. In 1881, he and his family moved to Germany, and Stieglitz studied mechanical engineering in Berlin before pursuing photography. He traveled extensively, taking pictures throughout the countryside during the 1880s. Returning to New York City, Stieglitz began a printing company that specialized in the reproduction of photographs, especially the work produced by members of the group he formed called the Photo-Secession. The mission of the group was to force the rest of the art world to accept photography as an acceptable art form alongside painting and sculpture. Other members of the invitation-only organization included Edward Steichen, Gertrude Kasebier, Clarence White and Alvin Langdon Coburn. They held their own exhibitions, and Stieglitz created a lavish quarterly photographic journal called Camera Work to showcase their efforts. After divorcing his first wife in 1918, Stieglitz became romantically involved with the artist Georgia O'Keefe, whom he married in 1924. She became a frequent portrait subject of his — over the next two decades his collective portraits of O'Keefe numbered over 300 images. They began to spend part of each year in New Mexico, a location which featured in their work. At his gallery An American Place in New York City, Stieglitz met and became lasting friends with Ansel Adams. Stieglitz stopped taking photographs in 1937 due to the strain on his health from a heart condition. He died in 1946.