Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

[Self-Portrait]

Artist:
Edward J. Steichen (American (born Luxembourg), Bivange 1879–1973 West Redding, Connecticut)
Date:
1917
Medium:
Platinum print
Dimensions:
Image: 24.5 x 19.8 cm (9 5/8 x 7 13/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Harriette and Noel Levine Gift, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.100.156
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
In 1917, after the United States had entered World War I, Edward Steichen volunteered for the U.S. Army. He made this self-portrait shortly before his commission as leader of a team of aerial reconnaissance photographers and his departure for France in late November. Steichen presents himself, posed with his apparatus, as a self-confident professional. The photograph is a prelude to his modernist postwar photographs--especially the theatrical commercial portraits and product advertisements commissioned by Condé Nast beginning in 1923 (see no. 237). It also articulates the new status that studio photographers would achieve after the war. As the highest-paid photographer at "Vanity Fair," Steichen became New York's most celebrated packager of personalities--a man who wielded truly cult-like influence.
Unlike Steichen's earlier Photo-Secessionist photographs, this print shows no evidence of darkroom manipulation. As a transitional work, however, it is signed and dated in the manner of his earlier prints, with his name in capital letters inscribed over the date, which appears in Roman numerals. Steichen's inclusion of the camera as his chosen attribute seems to presage his imminent decision to abandon the brush for the lens.
Inscription: Inscribed, recto: "STEICHEN, MDCCCCXVII"; stamped verso: "Property of Selma S. Schubart, N.Y."
Doris Bry; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, April 8, 1980

From Gilman record:

A gelatin silver pritn with the image reversed exists in the George Eastman House Collection (part of bequest from Joanna Steichen).
Related Objects

Heavy Roses

Artist: Edward J. Steichen (American (born Luxembourg), Bivange 1879–1973 West Redding, Connecticut) Date: 1914, printed 1981 Medium: Photogravure Accession: 1980.1020 On view in:Not on view

Time-Space Continuum

Artist: Edward J. Steichen (American (born Luxembourg), Bivange 1879–1973 West Redding, Connecticut) Date: ca. 1920 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 1987.1100.468 On view in:Not on view

Getting Set for the Big Strike on Kwajalein, U.S.S. Lexington

Artist: Edward J. Steichen (American (born Luxembourg), Bivange 1879–1973 West Redding, Connecticut) Date: 1943 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 1987.1100.496 On view in:Not on view

[Navy Hellcat Roars off Flight Deck of "The Blue Ghost" - The USS Lexington]

Artist: Edward J. Steichen (American (born Luxembourg), Bivange 1879–1973 West Redding, Connecticut) Date: 1943 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 1987.1100.218 On view in:Not on view

Packard

Artist: Edward J. Steichen (American (born Luxembourg), Bivange 1879–1973 West Redding, Connecticut) Date: 1932 Medium: Gelatin silver print Accession: 1987.1100.150 On view in:Not on view