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L'Hiver, cinquieme avenue
[Photo-Club de Paris / 1896, Pl. XXXVIII]
Heliogravure / Photogravure
16.0 x 12.3 cm
Photograph courtesy PhotoSeed.com
Country: USA: New York
This very early photogravure printing of the seminal Stieglitz photograph known as Winter: Fifth Ave. (1893) gives a clue that it may have been included in a later photo exhibit or possibly used as a reproduction in a book: in light pencil centered below the image is written -8-. It is also often listed as having been taken in 1892. The correct date is 1893.
A fascinating and important analysis of this photograph: illustrated opposite Chapter #1 in the book by Jay Bochner (2005) An American Lens: Scenes from Alfred Stieglitz's New York Secession (The MIT Press) is critical for our understanding of the period in which it was taken. Chapter #1: making reference to the snowstorm in the photograph is titled: The Coming Storm of Modernism (1893). An excerpt: "That vitality, for both the driver and the image, feeds on the storm, which is, after all, a natural phenomenon, like the horse; storm and team together show their muscle against the city, or at least against that sense of the city which we imagine represents the successes of industry and of money. The storm can all but immobilize this city, with this horse-driven exception which Stieglitz has awaited for some three hours at the corner of 35th Street and Fifth Avenue. Then he, too, immobilizes the city, the storm, and the team, asserting his power to give direction to "this New York of boundless misdirected energy and to capture a portion of that wasteful flow," as Lewis Mumford put it." (Lewis Mumford, "The Metropolitan Milieu," in Waldo Frank et al., eds., America and Alfred Stieglitz: A Collective Portrait (New York: Literary Guild, 1934), p. 45.
Plate (Graveur) by Fillon et Heuse
Printed by Ateliers Charles Wittmann
Included in the "Troisième Exposition d'Art Photographique" of the Photo-Club of Paris (1896)