Sunday, January 02, 2011

Alfred Stieglitz

Congratulations to Bill, winner of yesterday's Person-of-Mystery contest!

Alfred Stieglitz was born January 1, 1864, the son of Edard Stieglitz, a lesser-known businessman and later painter.

The Last Joke, Bellagio by Stieglitz

Stieglitz lived a rather privileged life, living off first his father and later his wife, allowing him to pursue photography without the necessity for consistent income.  He is best known as being one of the first people in America to introduce photography as an art form.  He is also known for running several New York art galleries and promoting many up-and-coming artists into the public consciousness.

Winter, Fifth Avenue by Stieglitz

In 1918, he left his wife for Georgia O'Keeffe and the two lived a rather passionate Bohemian life.  The two married soon after his divorce was finalized and over the years, the couple had a sometimes passionate, sometimes working relationship as husband and wife.

Georgia O'Keeffe, Hands by Stieglitz

Stieglitz was known as being a consummate perfectionist.  He was known to labor over the same shot for hours taking multiple exposures of the same scene and selecting only his one favorite to mount.  Stieglitz was also known for being creative and pushing the boundaries of photography.  He was one of the first to attempt to use portable cameras to capture everyday scenes and poses in an artistic manner.  Through his work, his writing, and his support of fellow artists, it is fair to say that no other single individual has had as great impact on modern photography as Alfred Stieglitz.

Venetian Canal by Stieglitz