While Steichen's palette recalls Whistler's Nocturne paintings and the foreground branch echoes those often found in the Japanese prints that were much in vogue in turn-of-the-century Paris, his subject is distinctly modern and American. The newly completed, twenty-two-story skyscraper soars so high above Madison Square in New York that it could not be contained within the photographer's frame. Crown jewels in the Museum's photography collection, Steichen's three variant printings of The Flatiron, each in a different tonality, evoke successive moments of twilight and forcefully assert that photography can rival painting in scale, color, individuality, and expressiveness.
Edward Steichen; Alfred Stieglitz
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Painterly Photograph," Tuesday, January 09, 1973 - Wednesday, February 28, 1973.
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Les Galeries nationales du Grand Palais. "1900," March 14, 2000–June 26, 2000.
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Smith, Joel. Edward Steichen: The Early Years. Princeton: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999. pl. 18.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 442.