Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz (January 1, 1864 – July 13, 1946); American photographer and modern art promoter who was instrumental over his 50-year career in making photography an accepted art form. In addition to his photography, Stieglitz was known for the New York art galleries that he ran in the early part of the 20th century, where he introduced many avant-garde European artists to the U.S. He was married to painter Georgia O'Keeffe.

Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, the first son of German-Jewish immigrants. He attended high school in Germany. In 1884 his parents returned to America, but Stieglitz remained in Germany for the rest of the decade. During this time Stieglitz began to collect the first books of what would become a very large library on photography and photographers in Europe and the U.S. He read extensively as he collected, and through his library he formulated his initial thinking about photography and aesthetics. In 1887 he wrote his very first article, “A Word or Two about Amateur Photography in Germany”, for the new magazine The Amateur Photographer. Soon he was regularly writing articles on the technical and aesthetic aspects of photography for magazines in England and Germany.

Sometime in late 1892 Stieglitz bought his first hand-held camera, a Folmer and Schwing 4×5 plate film camera. Prior to this he had been using an 8×10 plate film camera that always required a tripod and was difficult to carry around. He was invigorated by the freedom of the new camera, and later that winter he used the new camera to make two of his best known images, “Winter, Fifth Avenue” and “The Terminal”.

Stieglitz soon gained a fame for both his photography and his writing about photography’s place in relation to painting and other art. In the spring of 1893 he was offered the job of co-editor of The American Amateur Photographer, which he quickly accepted. To avoid the...
change photo
remove photo