Alfred stieglitz

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Early years
• Born in 1864
• As a child, he found school was not challenging and he got bored.
• His father sent him to Germany in 1881, to get the stricter type of education he believed Alfred needed.
• He enrolled in the Technological Schoolhouse in Berlin, where he met met German artists Adolf von Menzel and Wilhelm Hasemann, both of whom introduced him to the idea ofmaking art directly from nature.
• He bought his first camera and traveled through the European countryside, taking many photographs of landscapes and peasants in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.
• He wrote articles on the technical and aesthetic aspects of photography for magazines in England and Germany.
[pic]Self-portrait, 1886

New York and the Camera Club
• He opened a smallphotography business where he could indulge in his interests and earn a living on his own.
• Stieglitz demanded such high quality in the production and paid his employees such high wages that the business, the Photochrome Engraving Company, rarely made a profit.
• Sometime in late 1892 Stieglitz bought his first hand-held camera. Prior to this he had been using a camera that alwaysrequired 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".

[pic]The Terminal, 1893

[pic]Winter-Fifth Avenue, 1893

• At the time there were two photographic clubs in New York, the Society of Amateur Photographers and theNew York Camera Club. In May 1896 Stieglitz succeeded in joining the two organizations to form the Camera Club of New York.
• With the Camera Club, Stieglitz greatly impulsed photography as an art in the United States.
• Some years later, members of the Club challenged Stieglitz’s artistic and editorial authority. As a result from this stress, he suffered numerous mental breakdowns.• Alfred announced he would resign as editor of Camera Notes, the main publication of the Camera Club. It was not his health that led to this decision, but his frustration with the members of the Club and their old ways of thinking.

The Photo-Secession and Camera Work (1902-1907)

• Stieglitz had assembled a collection of prints from a close circle of his friends, which, in homage to theMunich photographers, he called the Photo-Secession.
• Stieglitz had full control over the selection of prints for the show, and by putting it together he was not only declaring a departure from the general artistic restrictions of the era but specifically of the Camera Club.
• The Photo-Secession opened in the United States in 1902
• It was the first photography collection to beseen only by photographers, as previous ones had been judged by painters, writers, or artists that knew nothing about photography.
• Inspired by the Photo-Secession’s positive reviews, Stieglitz created the Camera Work magazine.
• Camera Work contained beautiful hand-pulled poster-sized photogravures (printed copy of a photo), critical writings on photography, aesthetics and art, andreviews and commentaries on photographers and exhibitions.
• Stieglitz was so perfectionist, he demanded that the photogravures in Camera Work were of the highest quality, or the magazine would be incinerated.
• The photogravures’ perfection was such that magazine readers actually thought they were looking at the original photographs.
• By 1907, Stieglitz became convinced that the onlyway photography would be seen as an equal to the other arts was for it to be exhibited and published directly next to painting, sculpture, drawings and prints.
• He sensed that the public had already embraced artistic photography as a legitimate art form, and that even the Photo-Secession which he had created was now a part of the accepted culture.
[pic]Going to the Start, 1905...
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