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 's Photographic Holiday Work Competition, appearing in the November 1887 issue. The photograph he entered is of a group of children laughing, it is a spontaneous, cheerful and playful image framed by the arches in the architecture; the scene is brightly lit and has strong contrasting tones. The competition was judged by Dr Peter Henry Emerson. Emerson, an American living in England was longing for a truer image than the borrowed aesthetics of academic paintings. He was looking for a more faithful rendering of nature and un-doctored photography was all that was needed. Emerson had seen this in Stieglitz’s photography and so e...
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...allery at 291 Fifth Avenue showed many European pioneers and championed American experimentalists”. (Arnason 1965, in Hoffman, 2004: 262)
Stieglitz supported artists such as Marsden Hartley who painted in the style of impressionism and cubism. In a book of Letters written by Marsden and Stieglitz, Voorhies highlights the importance of 291 to Hartley, to his development and the promotion of his art and the opportunity to be introduced to other European moderns such as Matisse and Picasso. (Hartley, Stieglitz and Voorhies, 2002)
Stieglitz’s final contribution to the moderns came after his death when O’Keefe spent three years carefully dispersing his art which comprised of paintings, sculptures, letters and photography, including his nude photographs of her. It is a lasting legacy with which we can all share in his passion and dedication and take influence from.
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