Alfred Stieglitz: Pictorialism To Modernism

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The Modernist art movement had tremendous historical influences of on the works of Alfred Stieglitz. The change from pictorialism to modernism began early in his career, the relationships he developed with like-minded artists inspired creativity and enabled Stieglitz to open the eyes of ordinary Americans to the incredible wealth of art being created during the early 20th Century. He gave exposure and opportunities to unknown artists and he made his passion for photography as an art form, in its own right, a reality. Alfred Stieglitz has been described as the father of modernist photography. There was an art revolution happening in Europe in the early 1900’s, a revolt against the old traditions of art. He wanted to bring these Avant guard works to America whilst also promoting photography as an art medium.
Alfred Stieglitz, Pictorialism to Modernism.
In Alfred Stieglitz’s early career, he spent many years travelling Europe, his images were taken in the pictorialist style, photographing landscapes, lake scenes, washerwomen and village folk. He entered into a competition in the Amateur Photographer
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Caffin is saying that Stieglitz may upset or alienate his public by displaying this new, radical, unusual photography. Stieglitz’s intent is to provide food for thought, create the questions and interest and so get them talking. Caffin describes Stieglitz as a “trail blazer”. Stieglitz believes that his public “ought to be pleased to see the photographs and will be able to see them nowhere else in New York”. (Caffin 1912 in Stieglitz and Roberts, 1997) Stieglitz’s belief in the worth and importance of modern art and photography was indeed risky, but because he had seen its admiration and importance in Europe, he must have felt the American public needed the exposure and hence educating in this new form of

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