Steichen added color to the platinum photograph that forms the foundation of this print using layers of pigment suspended in a light-sensitive solution of gum arabic and potassium bichromate. Together with two variant prints in other colors, also in the Museum's collection, The Flatiron is the quintessential study of twilight. Clearly indebted in its composition to the Japanese woodcuts that were in vogue at the turn of the century and in its coloristic effects, to the Nocturnes of Whistler, this picture is a prime example of the conscious effort of photographers in the circle of Alfred Stieglitz to assert the artistic potential of their medium.
Inscription: Inscribed in red crayon on print, recto BRC: "STEICHEN// MDCCCCV"; inscribed in ink on print, verso C: "The Flat Iron// Platinum Gum// (Blue Print)// 'About the best print of subject' (AS)// Property of Alfred Stieglitz value $125"
Artist: Edward J. Steichen (American (born Luxembourg), Bivange 1879–1973 West Redding, Connecticut)Date: 1904, printed 1908Medium: Gum bichromate over platinum printAccession: 33.43.28On view in:Not on view