A towering figure in early twentieth-century photography, Alfred Stieglitz was not only a master of the medium, but also a powerful tastemaker and tireless advocate for photography as a fine art in the early 1900s. Through his sumptuous and influential journal Camera Work (1902–1917) and his "Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession" (1905–1917), known to insiders simply as "291" for its address on Fifth Avenue, Stieglitz introduced the public to the best of artistic photography and, eventually, modern art. He was also his gallery's best client, supporting the artists he most admired by purchasing their work. Stieglitz's photography collection, donated to the Metropolitan by gift in 1933 and bequest following his death in 1946, constitutes the finest gathering of Photo-Secession works anywhere.
This exhibition, which coincides with the exhibition Stieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe, presents some forty-eight photographic treasures by Anne Brigman, Alvin Langdon Coburn, F. Holland Day, Gertrude Käsebier, Joseph Keiley, Heinrich Kühn, Edward Steichen, Clarence White, and others.
Left: Gertrude Käsebier (American, 1852–1934). Blessed Art Thou among Women, 1899. Platinum print; 23 x 13.2 cm (9 1/16 x 5 3/16 in.). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933 (33.43.132)
Stieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe features some two hundred major works by American and European modernists, supplemented by photographs by the Photo-Secessionists and publications by Stieglitz—all from the Metropolitan's holdings.