Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Typewriter Keys

Artist:
Ralph Steiner (American, Cleveland 1899–1986 Hanover, New Hampshire)
Date:
1921
Medium:
Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
20.7 x 15.6 cm (8 1/8 x 6 1/8 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Ford Motor Company Collection, Gift of Ford Motor Company and John C. Waddell, 1987
Accession Number:
1987.1100.148
Rights and Reproduction:
© Ralph Steiner, compliments of Estate
Not on view
Seen from the vantage of electronic word processing, the revolution in communication caused by the manual typewriter is difficult to recall. The machine was a marvel that not only standardized and clarified the handwritten message but also affected the shape of thought. Thus, T.S. Eliot writing in 1916: "Composing on the typewriter, I find that I am sloughing off all my long sentences which I used to dote upon. Short, staccato, like modern French prose. The typewriter makes for lucidity, but I am not sure that it encourages subtlety...."
Inscription: Signed in pencil on mount, recto LR, below print: "Steiner"; inscribed in ink on mount, verso: "A Ralph Steiner // 145 East 47 Street // New York City // U.S.A."
Margaret Watkins; [Light Gallery to Waddell, April 28, 1984]; John C. Waddell

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 23, 1989–December 31, 1989.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 28, 1990–April 22, 1990.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 10, 1990–July 15, 1990.

High Museum of Art. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 5, 1991–April 28, 1991.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "The New Vision: Photography between the World Wars. The Ford Motor Company Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 8, 1991–August 4, 1991.

IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia. "The New Vision, IVAM, Centre Julio Gonzalez, Valencia," January 20, 1995–March 26, 1995.

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