Marius de Zayas
Alfred Stieglitz (American, Hoboken, New Jersey 1864–1946 New York)
Sheet: H. x W.: 12 1/8 x 7 3/4 in. (30.8 x 19.69 cm)
Framed: H. x W. x D.: 23 x 17 x 1-1/2 in.
Image courtesy of the Board of Trustees, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Alfred Stieglitz Collection.
Not on view
In this 1915 portrait, Marius de Zayas stands in front of his caricature of Katharine N. Rhoades, flanked by two masks from Côte d’Ivoire and Picasso’s early etching The Frugal Repast. The primacy afforded the masks in relation to the European works echoes his conviction that, as he wrote in 1919, "African sculpture is fundamentally abstract, and it is the foundation of modern abstract art." De Zayas promoted this idea in his own gallery, where this photograph was certainly taken. The Modern Gallery opened its doors in October 1915 thanks to the financial support of patrons Eugene and Agnes Meyer. Established as the commercial branch of 291, the Modern Gallery furthered "the sale of paintings of the most advanced character of the modern art movement, negro sculptures, pre-conquest Mexican art and photography."