Alfred Stieglitz (American, Hoboken, New Jersey 1864–1946 New York)
1907, printed 1907–9
24.0 x 18.9 cm. (9 7/16 x 7 7/16 in.)
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933
Not on view
Torso is from a series of figure studies made collaboratively by Stieglitz and White in 1907 and one of four reproduced as photo-gravures in issue 27 of Camera Work in March 1909. "A little over two years ago," the accompanying text reads, "Alfred Stieglitz and Clarence H. White, in consequence of various lively discussions with some painters about portrait painting and the impossibility of the camera to do certain things, began a series of experiments to demonstrate the pliability of straight photography as a medium for portraiture and figure work and so disprove the painters’ contentions." Five years after their collaboration, however, Stieglitz and White had such divergent notions of photography’s future that the two no longer spoke to each other. In May 1912 Stieglitz returned eighty-four negatives and seventy-four prints to White, writing, "One thing I do demand, and I put you on your honor, and this is that my name be not mentioned by you in connection with either the prints or the negatives. . . . My name will not be connected with them in any way. I shall see to that. Unfortunately I can not wipe out the past." Despite his demand, Stieglitz retained twenty photographs from the collaboration, including this heavily retouched platinum print signed by both artists.