Steichen was the most frequently shown photographer in Alfred Stieglitz's groundbreaking magazine Camera Work during its run from 1903 to 1917. Together Stieglitz and Steichen opened the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, which eventually became known as 291 after its address.
His photos of gowns for the magazine Art et Décoration in 1911 are regarded as the first modern fashion photographs ever published. From 1923 to 1938, Steichen was a photographer for the Condé Nast magazines Vogue and Vanity Fair while also working for many advertising agencies including J. Walter Thompson. During these years, Steichen was regarded as the best known and highest paid photographer in the world. In 1944, he directed the war documentary The Fighting Lady, which won the 1945 Academy Award for Best Documentary.
From 1947 to 1961, Steichen served as Director of the Department of Photography at New York's Museum of Modern Art. While at MoMA, he curated and assembled the exhibit The Family of Man, which was seen by nine million people.
Edward Steichen, photographed by
Fred Holland Day (1901)
Éduard Jean Steichen
March 27, 1879
|Died||March 25, 1973 (aged 93)|
|Nationality||Luxembourgish by birth; American from 1900|
|Known for||Painting, Photography|
Steichen was born Éduard Jean Steichen in Bivange, Luxembourg, the son of Jean-Pierre and Marie Kemp Steichen. Jean-Pierre Steichen first immigrated to the United States in 1880. Marie Steichen brought the infant Éduard along once Jean-Pierre had settled in Chicago, in 1881. The family, with the addition of Éduard's younger sister Lilian, moved to Milwaukee in 1889, when Steichen was 10.
In 1894, at fifteen, Steichen began attending Pio Nono College, a Catholic boy's high school, where his artistic talents were first noticed; his drawings in particular were said to show promise. He quit high school to begin a four-year lithography apprenticeship with the American Fine Art Company of Milwaukee. After hours, he would sketch and draw, and began to teach himself to paint. Having come across a camera shop near his work, he visited frequently until he persuaded himself to buy his first camera, a secondhand Kodak box "detective" camera, in 1895. Steichen and his friends who were also interested in drawing and photography pooled together their funds, rented a small room in a Milwaukee office building, and began calling themselves the Milwaukee Art Students League. The group also hired Richard Lorenz and Robert Schade for occasional lectures.
Steichen was naturalized as a U.S. citizen in 1900 and signed the naturalization papers as Edward J. Steichen; however, he continued to use his birth name of Éduard until after the First World War.
Steichen married Clara Smith in 1903. They had two daughters, Katherine and Mary. In 1914, Clara accused her husband of having an affair with artist Marion H. Beckett, who was staying with them in France. The Steichens left France just ahead of invading German troops. In 1915, Clara Steichen returned to France with her daughter Kate, staying in their house in the Marne in spite of the war. Steichen returned to France with the Photography Division of the American Army Signal Corps in 1917, whereupon Clara returned to the United States. In 1919, Clara Steichen sued Marion Beckett for having an affair with her husband, but was unable to prove her claims. Clara and Eduard Steichen eventually divorced in 1922. Steichen married Dana Desboro Glover in 1923. She died of leukemia in 1957. In 1960, aged 80, Steichen married 27-year-old Joanna Taub and remained married to her until his death, two days before his 94th birthday. Joanna Steichen died on July 24, 2010, in Montauk, New York, aged 77.
Clarence H. White thought Steichen and Stieglitz should meet. White produced an introduction letter for Steichen and Steichen met Alfred Stieglitz in New York City in 1900; Steichen at the time en route to Paris from his home in Milwaukee. In that first meeting, Stieglitz expressed praise for Steichen's background in painting and bought three of Steichen's photographic prints.
In 1902, when Stieglitz was formulating what would become Camera Work, he asked Steichen to design the logo for the magazine with a custom typeface. Steichen was the most frequently shown photographer in the journal.
In 1904, Steichen began experimenting with color photography. He was one of the first people in the United States to use the Autochrome Lumière process. In 1905, Stieglitz and Steichen created the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, which eventually became known as 291 after its address. It presented some of the first American exhibitions of Henri Matisse, Auguste Rodin, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, and Constantin Brâncuși.
In 1911, Steichen was "dared" by Lucien Vogel, the publisher of Jardin des Modes and La Gazette du Bon Ton, to promote fashion as a fine art by the use of photography. Steichen took photos of gowns designed by couturier Paul Poiret, which were published in the April 1911 issue of the magazine Art et Décoration. According to Jesse Alexander, this is "... now considered to be the first ever modern fashion photography shoot. That is, photographing the garments in such a way as to convey a sense of their physical quality as well as their formal appearance, as opposed to simply illustrating the object."
Serving in the US Army in World War I (and the US Navy in the Second World War), Steichen commanded significant units contributing to military photography. After World War I, during which he commanded the photographic division of the American Expeditionary Forces, he reverted to straight photography, gradually moving into fashion photography. Steichen's 1928 photo of actress Greta Garbo is recognized as one of the definitive portraits of Garbo.
The initial publication of Ansel Adams' image Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico was in U.S. Camera Annual 1943, after being selected by Steichen, who was serving as photo judge for the publication. This gave Moonrise an audience before its first formal exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in 1944.
After the war, Steichen served as the Director of Photography at New York's Museum of Modern Art until 1962, assisted by Grace M. Mayer. Among other accomplishments, Steichen created The Family of Man, a world-touring Museum of Modern Art exhibition, seen by 9 million visitors and consisting of over 500 photos that depicted life, love and death in 68 countries. Steichen's brother-in-law, Carl Sandburg, wrote a prologue for the exhibition catalog.
In 1962, Steichen hired John Szarkowski to be his successor at the Museum of Modern Art.
In 1970, an evening show was presented in Arles during The Rencontres d'Arles festival: "Edward Steichen, photographe" by Martin Boschet.
Steichen bought a farm that he called Umpawaug in 1928, just outside West Redding, Connecticut. He lived there until his death on March 25, 1973, two days before his 94th birthday. After his death, Steichen's farm was made into a park, known as Topstone Park. As of 2018, Topstone Park was open seasonally.
In February 2006, a print of Steichen's early pictorialist photograph, The Pond—Moonlight (1904), sold for what was then the highest price ever paid for a photograph at auction, U.S. $2.9 million. (See List of most expensive photographs).
Steichen took the photograph in Mamaroneck, New York near the home of his friend, art critic Charles Caffin. It shows a wooded area and pond, with moonlight appearing between the trees and reflecting on the pond. While the print appears to be a color photograph, the first true color photographic process, the autochrome process, was not available until 1907. Steichen created the impression of color by manually applying layers of light-sensitive gums to the paper. Only three prints of the Pond—Moonlight are still known to exist and, as a result of the hand-layering of the gums, each is unique. (The two prints not auctioned are held in museum collections.) The extraordinary sale price of the print is in part attributable to its one-of-a-kind character and to its rarity.
Am Tunnel is a contemporary art gallery, situated in a tunnel in Luxembourg City, in southern Luxembourg. The gallery is located in part of the underground casemates of the city's ancient fortress, under the Bourbon plateau, in the northern part of Gare quarter. It is connected to the former headquarters of Banque et Caisse d'Épargne de l'État (BCEE), the third-largest bank based in Luxembourg.In 1987, BCEE launched a plan to extend the former casemate, so that it would connect the bank's four buildings that lie on the plateau. The possible usage of the tunnel itself was debated, and the idea was formed to turn the tunnel into a gallery. Construction began in 1992, and the gallery was opened in 1993. It is primarily dedicated to hosting works by more than a hundred Luxembourgian artists, particularly the photographer Edward Steichen, to whom a permanent collection is dedicated. However, the gallery also hosts retrospectives of other artists.Camera (magazine)
Camera is a photography review that began its life in Lucerne, Switzerland, later distributed in many countries and languages. The magazine grew to its greatest international influence towards in latter half of its life of sixty years; on the leading edge of almost every important period in photography, Camera was often among the first publications to show the first works of now well-known photographers such as Edward Steichen, Robert Frank and Jeanloup Sieff.
Adopting the name, design and spirit of the magazine's most successful years, in a venture independent of its former publishers, editor Bruno Bonnabry-Duval and journalist Brigitte Ollier re-launched Camera as a quarterly review: the first edition appeared in kiosks on the 17th of January 2013.Camera Work
Camera Work was a quarterly photographic journal published by Alfred Stieglitz from 1903 to 1917. It is known for its many high-quality photogravures by some of the most important photographers in the world and its editorial purpose to establish photography as a fine art. It has been called "consummately intellectual", "by far the most beautiful of all photographic magazines", and "a portrait of an age [in which] the artistic sensibility of the nineteenth century was transformed into the artistic awareness of the present day."Caroline Hebbe
Caroline Hebbe (Hammarskiöld) was a Swedish art photographer active in the 1950s-1970s and working in a subjective style in affinity with the Fotoform movement.Clervaux Castle
Clervaux Castle (Luxembourgish: Schlass Klierf, German: Schloss Clerf, French: Château de Clervaux) in the town of Clervaux in northern Luxembourg dates back to the 12th century. Destroyed by fire in the Second World War during the Battle of the Bulge, the castle has now been fully rebuilt. It houses the commune's administrative offices as well as a museum containing an exhibition of Edward Steichen's photographs.Emily Mitchell
Emily Mitchell is an Anglo-American writer. Her debut novel, The Last Summer of the World, was published by W. W. Norton & Company in 2007.
It concerns the photographer Edward Steichen in the context of World War I and was a finalist for the 2008 Young Lions Award for fiction.Francis Trevelyan Miller
Francis Trevelyan Miller (1877–1959) was an American writer and film-maker. He is known for his books about exploration, travel and photography. Notable works from him including several books about the American Civil War, such as The Photographic History of the Civil War, in Ten Volumes (New York: The Review of Reviews Co., 1912). Another of his significant works is "History of WWII: Armed Services Memorial Edition." He has also made several feature films and wrote the screenplay for the 1919 film Deliverance about Helen Keller. In 1955 his photograph of children at a Chicago funfair was selected by Edward Steichen for MoMA's world-touring The Family of Man exhibition.Grace M. Mayer
Grace M. Mayer (November 26, 1901–December 21, 1996) was a curator of photography for the Museum of the City of New York and for the Museum of Modern Art.Hugo Knudsen
Hugo Knudsen was a Danish printer, eponym of the Knudsen process for fine lithography, patented in 1915. He owned the Offset Printing Plate Company of New York.
Invented and developed the lithographic halftone printing process which is still in use today, and at the time it was superior to any other known method of photo and picture reproduction. This process was used by Edward Steichen.
Close friend (and brother-in-law) of Alfred Kreymborg. Married to Beatrice (Bea) Bloom.Marjorie Oelrichs
Marjorie Oelrichs Duchin (June 23, 1908 – August 3, 1937), nicknamed "Bubbles", was an American socialite. The daughter of Marjorie Ramely Oelrichs (nee Turnbull) (1883-1952) and Charles de Loosey Oelrichs (1882-1973), she became the wife of dance bandleader Eddy Duchin after the two met at the Waldorf, and wed on June 5, 1935. A well-known New York and Newport beauty, she was described by Vogue as having "waxen skin and eyebrows like butterflies." An Edward Steichen photograph of Oelrichs was included in an advertisement for Pond's cold cream in a 1926 copy of Ladies' Home Journal. Oelrichs died six days after the 1937 birth of the couple's son, Peter Duchin.A maternal aunt was suffragist Alison Turnbull Hopkins and the poet Blanche Oelrichs was her paternal aunt.
Kim Novak portrayed Oelrichs in the 1956 Hollywood biopic The Eddy Duchin Story opposite Tyrone Power as Duchin.Martha Lorber
Martha Lorber (June 11, 1900 – July 3, 1983) was an American dancer, actress, singer model, and Ziegfeld Girl.Max Pinckers
Max Pinckers (1988) is a Belgian photographer based in Brussels.
He has self-published the books The Fourth Wall (2012); Will They Sing Like Raindrops or Leave Me Thirsty (2014), which won a Photographic Museum of Humanity grant); and Red Ink (2018), which won the Leica Oskar Barnack Award. Pinckers has also won the Edward Steichen Award Laureate.Naval Aviation Photographic Unit
The Naval Aviation Photographic Unit was a group of military photographers in the United States Navy during the Second World War, under the command of Edward Steichen.Photography in Luxembourg
Photography in Luxembourg is often associated with two figures who were born in Luxembourg but left when very young: Edward Steichen (1879–1973) was an American who made outstanding contributions to fashion and military photography during the first half of the 20th century; while Gabriel Lippmann (1845–1921), a Frenchman, was awarded the Nobel prize in physics for his achievements in colour photography. There are however many Luxembourg nationals who are remembered for recording the development of the city of Luxembourg and the country as a whole from the 1850s to the present.Southeast Museum of Photography
The Southeast Museum of Photography is located in Daytona Beach, Florida, on the campus of Daytona State College. It opened in 1992, and moved to a new facility (the Mori Hosseini Center) in 2007.The museum's permanent collection has "more than 3,500 photographs and includes work by William Klein, Sally Mann, Harry Callahan, Gordon Parks, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, Aaron Siskind and Robert Rauschenberg among others." It holds approximately 20 exhibitions per year.Sune Jonsson
Olov Sune Jonsson (20 December 1930 – 30 January 2009) was a Swedish documentary photographer and writer.
Jonsson was born in Nyåker outside Nordmaling in the province of Västerbotten, Sweden. After studying folklore and literature in Stockholm and Uppsala, Jonsson returned in the early 1960s to northern Sweden. His debut book Byn med det blå huset (The village with the blue house) was published in 1959 and includes personal portrays of people in Djupsjönäs and his native village Nyåker. As in his second photobook, Timotejvägen, the relationship between text and image play an important role.
Between 1961 and 1995, Jonsson was hired as a photographer at the Museum of Västerbotten in Umeå, where he became dedicated to long-term cultural photographic works, mainly in the province of Västerbotten. Thematically, his photography was focused on the rural population, farmers, the man-made landscape and religious gatherings. Jonsson's artistic visual production was inspired by photographers such as August Sander, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Wayne Miller and Edward Steichen, notably in the photo exhibition The Family of Man in 1955. Swedish writer Ivar Lo-Johansson and his social work Den sociala fotobildboken was an important role model.
In addition to his photographic work, Jonsson was a skilled documentary film maker and he produced, in cooperation with the Museum of Västerbotten and Swedish television, documentary films about small farms, mining and fishing in the sparsely populated northern Sweden.The Family of Man
The Family of Man was an ambitious photography exhibition curated by Edward Steichen, the director of the Museum of Modern Art's (MoMA) Department of Photography. It was first shown in 1955 from January 24 to May 8 at the New York MoMA, then toured the world for eight years to record-breaking audience numbers. Commenting on its appeal, Steichen said the people "looked at the pictures, and the people in the pictures looked back at them. They recognized each other."According to Steichen, the exhibition represented the "culmination of his career."
The physical collection is archived and displayed at Clervaux Castle in Luxembourg (Edward Steichen's home country; he was born there in 1879 in Bivange). It was first presented there in 1994 after restoration of the prints.In 2003 the Family of Man photographic collection was added to UNESCO's Memory of the World Register in recognition of its historical value.The Pond—Moonlight
The Pond—Moonlight (also exhibited as The Pond—Moonrise ) is a pictorialist photograph by Edward Steichen. The photograph was made in 1904 in Mamaroneck, New York, near the home of his friend art critic Charles Caffin. The photograph features a forest across a pond, with part of the moon appearing over the horizon in a gap in the trees. The Pond—Moonlight is an early photograph created by manually applying light-sensitive gums, giving the final print more than one color.
Only three known versions of The Pond-Moonlight are still in existence and, as a result of the hand-layering of the gums, each is unique. In February 2006, a print of the photograph sold for US $2.9 million, at the time, the highest price ever paid for a photograph at auction. This auction is presented in the part 6 of the BBC documentary The Genius of Photography. In addition to the auctioned print, the other two versions are held in museum collections. The extraordinary sale price of the print is, in part, attributable to its one-of-a-kind character and to its rarity.Under the Dark Cloth
Under the Dark Cloth is the sixth studio album by Northern Irish recording artist Duke Special. It was self-released on 29 November 2011. It is the result of an invitation by the Department of Photography of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to write a suite of songs inspired by the work of pioneering photographers Paul Strand, Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Steichen. The songs were co-written by Duke Special and Boo Hewerdine, with the exception of "Washerwoman" which was co-written by Duke Special and Neil Hannon, and are accompanied in the recording by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra.