Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz: The Legendary Photographer
One of the most influential men in the field of photography was Alfred Stieglitz. Thefirst art photographer in the United States, Stieglitz more than any other American compelled the recognition of photography as a fine art. He spent his life fighting for the recognition of photography as a valid art form. In 1923, he was asked if he would give the Museum of Fine Arts some of his photographs. This was significant because it was thefirst time that a major American Art Museum included photographs or even considered them for display. In 1924, Stieglitz sent 27 photographs to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He was thefirst photographer to reach this achievement in America. He became standard that all photography was compared to in the United States. Had Alfred Stieglitz never taken a photograph in his life, he would still be numbered among the most significant influences in American cultural life in the period before the World War II. Nevertheless, it is Stieglitz’s body of photographic work which has firmly established his place among 20th c. artists.
In 1883, at the age of 19, he took hisfirst pictures while attending a school in Berlin. He was fascinated by the medium and started to experiment with new techniques and push the limits that were the standard at that time. He was told that a camera could only be used in the daytime. He decided to challenge that theory and set up his camera in a small cellar. The cellar was lit only by weak electric light bulb and focused on a dynamo. Then he made a 24 hour exposure which resulted in a perfect negative. This negative effectively rebuked the necessity of daylight. Later in his life, Stieglitz took thefirst successful “rainy day”, “snow storm” and “night” photographs.He took pictures in a time when photography was considered an only scientific curiosity and not art. The controversy over the art value of photography became widespread…


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