73 Facts About Alfred Stieglitz


Alfred Stieglitz was an American photographer and modern art promoter who was instrumental over his 50-year career in making photography an accepted art form.


Alfred Stieglitz was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, the first son of German Jewish immigrants Edward Alfred Stieglitz and Hedwig Ann Werner.


Alfred Stieglitz's father was a lieutenant in the Union Army and worked as a wool merchant.


Alfred Stieglitz had five siblings, Flora, twins Julius and Leopold, Agnes and Selma.


Alfred Stieglitz, seeing the close relationship of the twins, wished he had a soul mate of his own during his childhood.


Alfred Stieglitz attended Charlier Institute, a Christian school in New York, in 1871.


In 1881, Edward Alfred Stieglitz sold his company for US $40,000 and moved his family to Europe for the next several years so that his children would receive a better education.

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The next year, Alfred Stieglitz studied mechanical engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin.


Alfred Stieglitz enrolled in a chemistry class taught by Hermann Wilhelm Vogel, a scientist and researcher, who worked on the chemical processes for developing photographs.


In Vogel, Alfred Stieglitz found both the academic challenge he needed and an outlet for his growing artistic and cultural interests.


Alfred Stieglitz received an allowance of $1,200 a month.


Alfred Stieglitz took photographs of landscapes and workers in the countryside.


Alfred Stieglitz won first place for his photography, The Last Joke, Bellagio, in 1887 from Amateur Photographer.


In 1890, his sister Flora died while giving birth, and Alfred Stieglitz returned to New York.


Alfred Stieglitz considered himself an artist, but he refused to sell his photographs.


Alfred Stieglitz's father purchased a small photography business for him so that he could earn a living in his chosen profession.


Alfred Stieglitz gained a reputation for his photography and his magazine articles about how photography is a form of art.


On November 16,1893, the 29-year-old Alfred Stieglitz married 20-year-old Emmeline Obermeyer, the sister of his close friend and business associate Joe Obermeyer and granddaughter of brewer Samuel Liebmann.


Alfred Stieglitz later wrote that he did not love Emmy, as she was commonly known, when they were married and that their marriage was not consummated for at least a year.


Alfred Stieglitz came to regret his decision to marry Emmy, as she did not share his artistic and cultural interests.


Alfred Stieglitz was unanimously elected as one of the first two American members of The Linked Ring.


Alfred Stieglitz saw this recognition as the impetus he needed to step up his cause of promoting artistic photography in the United States.


Alfred Stieglitz developed programs for the club and was involved in all aspects of the organization.


Alfred Stieglitz turned the Camera Club's current newsletter into a magazine, Camera Notes, and was given full control over the new publication.


Alfred Stieglitz continued to exhibit in shows in Europe and the US, and by 1898 he had gained a solid reputation as a photographer.

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Alfred Stieglitz worked at the same pace as before the birth of his daughter, and as a result, the couple predominantly lived separate lives under the same roof.


In May 1899, Alfred Stieglitz was given a one-man exhibition, consisting of eighty-seven prints, at the Camera Club.


Alfred Stieglitz spent most of 1900 finding ways to outmaneuver these efforts, embroiling him in protracted administrative battles.


Alfred Stieglitz spent much of the summer at the family's Lake George home, Oaklawn, recuperating.


Alfred Stieglitz was not only declaring a secession from the general artistic restrictions of the era, but specifically from the official oversight of the Camera Club.


Alfred Stieglitz began formulating a plan to publish a completely independent magazine of pictorial photography to carry forth the artistic standards of the Photo-Secessionist.


Alfred Stieglitz was determined it would be "the best and most sumptuous of photographic publications".


Alfred Stieglitz was a perfectionist, and it showed in every aspect of Camera Work.


Alfred Stieglitz continued to focus his efforts on photography, at the expense of his family.


Emmy, who hoped she would one day earn Alfred Stieglitz's love, continued giving him an allowance from her inheritance.


Two months later the 42 year-old Alfred Stieglitz met 28 year-old artist Pamela Colman Smith, who wished to have her drawings and watercolors shown at his gallery.


Alfred Stieglitz decided to show her work because he thought it would be "highly instructive to compare drawings and photographs in order to judge photography's possibilities and limitations".


Alfred Stieglitz's show opened in January 1907, with far more visitors to the gallery than any of the previous photography shows, and soon all of her exhibited works were sold.


Alfred Stieglitz, hoping to capitalize on the popularity of the show, took photographs of her art work and issued a separate portfolio of his platinum prints of her work.


Alfred Stieglitz made less than $400 for the year due to declining Camera Work subscriptions and the gallery's low profit margin.


For most of 1908 and 1909, Alfred Stieglitz spent his time creating shows at 291 and publishing Camera Work.


In 1910, Alfred Stieglitz was invited by the director of the Albright Art Gallery to organize a major show of the best of contemporary photography.


In late 1912, painters Walter Pach, Arthur B Davies and Walt Kuhn organized a modern art show, and Stieglitz lent a few modern art pieces from 291 to the show.


Alfred Stieglitz agreed to be listed as an honorary vice-president of the exhibition along with Claude Monet, Odilon Redon, Mabel Dodge and Isabella Stewart Gardner.


Alfred Stieglitz saw the popularity of the show as a vindication of the work that he had been sponsoring at 291 for the past five years.

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Alfred Stieglitz mounted an exhibition of his own photographs at 291 to run at the same time as the Armory Show.


In January 1916, Alfred Stieglitz was shown a portfolio of charcoal drawings by a young artist named Georgia O'Keeffe.


Alfred Stieglitz was so taken by her art that without meeting O'Keeffe or even getting her permission to show her works he made plans to exhibit her work at 291.


Alfred Stieglitz finally met Stieglitz after going to 291 and chastising him for showing her work without her permission.


In early June 1918, O'Keeffe moved to New York from Texas after Alfred Stieglitz promised he would provide her with a quiet studio where she could paint.


Alfred Stieglitz had suspected something was going on between the two for a while, and told him to stop seeing her or get out.


Alfred Stieglitz left and immediately found a place in the city where he and O'Keeffe could live together.


Alfred Stieglitz photographed O'Keeffe obsessively between 1918 and 1925 in what was the most prolific period in his entire life.


Alfred Stieglitz shot many close-up studies of parts of her body, especially her hands either isolated by themselves or near her face or hair.


In 1920, Alfred Stieglitz was invited by Mitchell Kennerly of the Anderson Galleries in New York to put together a major exhibition of his photographs.


In 1922, Alfred Stieglitz organized a large show of John Marin's paintings and etching at the Anderson Galleries, followed by a huge auction of nearly two hundred paintings by more than forty American artists, including O'Keeffe.


Alfred Stieglitz spent time with Paul Strand and his new wife Rebecca, reviewed the work of another newcomer named Edward Weston and began organizing a new show of O'Keeffe's work.


Alfred Stieglitz's show opened in early 1923, and Stieglitz spent much of the spring marketing her work.


Alfred Stieglitz took a series of nude photos of her, and soon he became infatuated with her.


In 1924, Alfred Stieglitz's divorce was finally approved by a judge, and within four months he and O'Keeffe married in a small, private ceremony at Marin's house.


Alfred Stieglitz took advantage of her time away to begin photographing Norman, and he began teaching her the technical aspects of printing as well.


In early 1929, Alfred Stieglitz was told that the building that housed the Room would be torn down later in the year.


The Strands raised nearly sixteen thousand dollars for a new gallery for Alfred Stieglitz, who reacted harshly, saying it was time for "young ones" to do some of the work he had been shouldering for so many years.


Alfred Stieglitz continued showing group or individual shows of his friends Marin, Demuth, Hartley, Dove and Strand for the next sixteen years.


Alfred Stieglitz fiercely controlled access to her works and incessantly promoted her even when critics gave her less than favorable reviews.

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In 1932, Alfred Stieglitz mounted a forty-year retrospective of 127 of his works at The Place.


Alfred Stieglitz included all of his most famous photographs, but he purposely chose to include recent photos of O'Keeffe, who, because of her years in the Southwest sun, looked older than her forty-five years, in comparison to Stieglitz's portraits of his young lover Norman.


Alfred Stieglitz did not publish a catalog of the show, which the Strands took as an insult.


In 1936, Alfred Stieglitz returned briefly to his photographic roots by mounting one of the first exhibitions of photos by Ansel Adams in New York City.


Alfred Stieglitz put on one of the first shows of Eliot Porter's work two years later.


Alfred Stieglitz, considered the "godfather of modern photography", encouraged Todd Webb to develop his own style and immerse himself in the medium.


Alfred Stieglitz left and O'Keeffe was with him when he died.


Alfred Stieglitz produced more than 2,500 mounted photographs over his career.