|Other: Eduard J. Steichen |
Other: Eduard Jean Steichen
Other: Edward Jean Steichen
|Dates: ||1879, 27 March - 1973, 25 March|
|Died: ||US, CT, West Redding|
American painter and photographer born in Luxembourg. His career was varied with outstanding pictorialist work and a close relationship with the Photo-Secession movement of Alfred Stieglitz, interspersed with periods of photographic experimentation and military photographic work in both the First and Second World Wars. From 1947 to 1962 he was the Director of Photography at MoMA in New York and was responsible for the 1955 ‘Family of Man‘ exhibition. He embraced every form of photography, abstract, straight, advertising and fashion, bringing his huge enthusiasm and energy to bear to enhance photography as a career, as an art form and as a Museum speciality.
[With contributions from Pam Roberts]
Biography provided by Focal Press
A pivotal figure in the growth of creative photography in America, Steichen was one of the founders, with Steiglitz, of the Photo-Secession (1902) and The Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession (known as 291) in New York. Introducing the modernist work of Picasso, Matisse, Cezanne, and Rodin to America with debut exhibits at 291, he was also a frequent contributor to Stieglitz’ Camera Work magazine. He produced images of rich tonal depth and romantic sensibility; his early pictorialist use of manipulated gum and pigment printing processes were abandoned for a more precise, pragmatic style. His stylized fashion and celebrity images of the 1920s, published frequently in Vanity Fair and Vogue, were notable for their simple, theatrical settings; dramatic lighting and architectonic backdrops; and had an aura of impersonal cosmopolitan elegance. Shaped by his entrepreneurial spirit and his infatuation with celebrity and prestige, Steichen’s career flourished as Director of Photography for Condé Nast publications (1923–1938). His career, twice punctuated with army and navy combat photographic service during both world wars, eventually led to the museum world. One of his most celebrated achievements came as Director of the Photography Department, Museum of Modern Art, New York (1947–1962) with his marketing of large themed exhibitions of photography, including the hugely popular The Family of Man (1955).
(Author: Garie Waltzer - Photographer and consultant)
Michael Peres (Editor-in-Chief), 2007, Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, 4th edition, (Focal Press) [ISBN-10: 0240807405, ISBN-13: 978-0240807409]
(Used with permission)
Daniel, Malcolm, 2010, Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand: Masterworks from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art; New Haven, CT: Yale University Press) [Δ]
Poos, Françoise (ed.); Back, Jean; Bauret, Gabriel & Lorang, Antoinette, 2012, The Bitter Years: Edward Steichen and the Farm Security Administration Photographs, (D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers) isbn-10: 1935202863 isbn-13: 978-1935202868 [Δ]
Steichen, Edward (ed.), 1955, The Family of Man, (New York: Museum of Modern Art) [Δ]
Strand, Paul, 1930, 19 Feb, ‘Steichen and Commercial Art‘, The New Republic, vol.61, no.794, pp.21 [Δ]
Readings on, or by, individual photographers
Brandow, Todd, & Ewing, William A., 2007, Edward Steichen: Lives in Photography, (Minneapolis: Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography) [Δ]
Faram, Mark, 2009, Faces of War: The Untold Story of Edward Steichen's WWII Photographers, (Berkley Hardcover) isbn-10: 0425221407 [Δ]
Haskell, Barbara, 2000, Edward Steichen, (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art) isbn-10: 0874271266 isbn-13: 978-0874271263 [Δ]
Longwell, Dennis, 1978, Steichen: The Master Prints, 1895–1914, (New York: Museum of Modern Art) [Δ]
Niven, P., 1997, Steichen: A Biography, (New York: Clarkson Potter) [Δ]
Phillips, Christopher, 1983, Steichen at War: The Navy's Pacific Air Battles, (Harry N Abrams) isbn-10: 0810916398 isbn-13: 978-0810916395 [Δ]
Smith, Joel, 1999, Edward Steichen: The Early Years, (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press and the Metropolitan Museum of Art) isbn-13: 978-0691048734 [Δ]
Steichen, Edward, 1945, Power In the Pacific, (New York: US Camera Publishing Corp.) [Δ]
Steichen, Edward, 1985, A Life In Photography, (New York: Bonanza Books) [Δ]
Steichen, Edward, 1987, U.S. Navy War Photographs Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay, (Bonanza Books) isbn-10: 0517455498 isbn-13: 978-0517455494 [Δ]
Steichen, Edward & Standberg, Carl, 1929, Steichen The Photographer, (New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co.) [Δ]
Steichen, Edward (ed.), 1947, The Blue Ghost, (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Co.) [Δ]
Steichen, J. (ed.), 2000, Steichen’s Legacy: Photographs, 1895–1973, (New York: Alfred A. Knopf) [Δ]
Torosian, Michael & Greenberg, Howard, 2011, Steichen: Eduard et Voulangis. The Early Modernist Period 1915 - 1923, (Howard Greenberg Gallery and Lumiere Press) [Δ]
If you feel this list is missing a significant book or article please let me know - Alan - firstname.lastname@example.org
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|Family history |
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch.
|Edward Steichen: Balzac|
|Edward Steichen: Early colour|
|Edward Steichen: Nudes|
|Edward Steichen: Self portraits|
|Edward Steichen: Snow Bound - Dawn|
|Edward Steichen: The Flatiron|
All photographs by this photographer
Steichen and his family emigrated to the United States from Luxembourg in 1881 because his mother believed that he would have a better life in Midwestern America. They lived for a time in Michigan and then moved in 1889 to Milwaukee. Between the years of 1894-1898 Steichen apprenticed as a designer for a lithographic company in Milwaukee, studied painting, and helped to organize an Art Students League. At this time he decided to become a painter, but in 1896 his father gave him his first camera and he was hooked immediately. He studied with a local photographer and by 1899 he entered his first exhibition at the Second Salon of Philadelphia. He went to New York in 1902 and met with Stieglitz who bought some of his work and the two men quickly became friends. Along with Stieglitz, he was principal in the pictorial movement. Steichen was one of the founders of the Photo-Secession. He helped to organize the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession (291), and he was instrumental in designing the cover and typography for the Photo-Secessionists' quarterly, Camera Work.
Luxembourg-born American, 1879-1973
Between 1906-1914 he lived in Paris where he continued to study painting and photography, and he helped make connections between Stieglitz and such artist's as Rodin. In 1914, during WWI, he commanded the Photographic Division of Aerial Photography in the American Expeditionary Forces. He retired in 1918 as a lieutenant colonel and decided to burn all of his paintings and concentrate on photography full time. His experience during the war shifted his creative drive away from impressionistic style photographs to creating sharp, clear close-up images of still lives. He also continued to take portraits and was written up in Vanity Fair as "the world's best portrait photographer". This led him to the position of chief photographer for Conde Nast publications which allowed him to travel to Europe to photograph fashion, famous writers, artists, and politicians. Between 1923 and 1938 Steichen's celebrity portraits and fashion photographs were published in Vanity Fair and Vogue and he was widely recognized as one of the best in his field.
In 1938 he had saved up enough money to close down his studio and move to France where he planned on spending his time as a horticulturist. In 1942 he was once again called into duty and served as a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy where he was in charge of photographing the naval aspects of the war. Between 1947-1962 he was the director of the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1952 he began to organize an exhibition which would be a compilation of the best photographers in the world. He went to 29 cities in 11 European countries and the endeavor took 3 years, but the exhibition entitled, The Family of Man, was well worth it. The exhibition was seen by more than nine million people in 69 countries and millions of books from the exhibition were sold. Over the span of his 77 year photographic career, this was probably his consummate achievement.
[Contributed by Lee Gallery]
The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.
|• Beaton, Cecil & Buckland, Gail 1975 The Magic Eye: The Genius of Photography from 1839 to the Present Day (Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown & Company) p.110 [Useful short biographies with personal asides and one or more example images.] |
• Capa, Cornell (ed.) 1984 The International Center of Photography: Encyclopedia of Photography (New York, Crown Publishers, Inc. - A Pound Press Book) p.484-486
• Fernandez, Horacio (ed.) 2000 Fotografía Pública: Photography in Print 1919-1939 (Aldeasa) p.228 [This Spanish exhibition catalogue is one of the best sources for illustrations of photomontage and book design for the period between the two World Wars.]
• International Center of Photography 1999 Reflections in a Glass Eye: Works from the International Center of Photography Collection (New York: A Bulfinch Press Book) p.228 [Includes a well written short biography on Edward Steichen with example plate(s) earlier in book.]
• Weaver, Mike (ed.) 1989 The Art of Photography 1839-1989 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press) p.467 [This exhibition catalogue is for the travelling exhibition that went to Houston, Canberra and London in 1989.]
• Witkin, Lee D. and Barbara London 1979 The Photograph Collector’s Guide (London: Secker and Warburg) p.241-242 [Long out of print but an essential reference work - the good news is that a new edition is in preparation.]
If there is an analysis of a single photograph or a useful self portrait I will highlight it here.
Photographic collections are a useful means of examining large numbers of photographs by a single photographer on-line.
|Library of Congress, Washington, USA |
Approximate number of records: ?
Note: A single record may contain more than one photograph.
|"Every other artist begins with a blank canvas, a piece of paper the photographer begins with the finished product."|
|"I knew, of course, that trees and plants had roots, stems, bark, branches and foliage that reached up toward the light. But I was coming to realize that the real magician was light itself."|
|"No photographer is as good as the simplest camera."|
|"Once you really commence to see things, then you really commence to feel things."|
|"Photography is a major force in explaining man to man."|
|"Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. It is a major force in explaining man to man."|
|"Then, ye wise men; ye jabbering button-pushers! Then shall ye indeed make merry, offering incense and sacrifice upon the only original alter of true photography, Then shall the fakers slink of in dismay into the "inky blackness" of their prints."|
|"When I first became interested in photography, I thought it was the whole cheese. My idea was to have it recognized as one of the fine arts. Today I don‘t give a hoot in hell about that. The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each man to himself."|
|"When that shutter clicks, anything else that can be done afterward is not worth consideration."|