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Paul Strand (American, New York 1890–1976 Orgeval, France)

Platinum print
34 x 25.7 cm (13 3/8 x 10 1/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
©1997, Aperture Foundation Inc., Paul Strand Archive
  • Description

    While he was in high school in New York City, Paul Strand studied photography with Lewis Hine, the social reformer and photographer. He also frequented Alfred Stieglitz's Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, later "291," where he quickly absorbed the lessons of modern European art through the work of Picasso, Brancusi, and Cézanne, among others. In 1916, Strand made a series of candid street portraits with a hand-held camera fitted with a special prismatic lens, which allowed him to point the camera in one direction while taking the photograph at a ninety-degree angle. This seminal image of a street beggar was published in 1917 as a gravure in Stieglitz's magazine "Camera Work" and immediately became an icon of the new American photography, which integrated the objectivity of social documentation with the boldly simplified forms of Modernism.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed and inscribed in pencil on print, verso, bottom right: "-Paul Strand- // -1916-"; signed and inscribed in pencil on mount, recto, bottom right: "-Paul Strand-1916-"; inscribed in pencil in unknown hand, verso, center left: "Strand, Paul // 314 West 83rd St. // "Blind" 1916 // Platinotype"

  • Provenance

    Alfred Stieglitz, New York

  • Notes

    This print was made from an enlarged negative. There is a 0.2 - 0.8 cm. black border surrounding the image which was included in the image size dimensions. In Camera Work, No.49/50, June 1917, the photograph was reproduced with the title " Photograph - New York". The text on page 36 states: "The original prints are 11 x 14"

  • See also