This exhibition is the first large-scale presentation of paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints from Alfred Stieglitz's collection, acquired by the Metropolitan in 1949. In addition to being a master photographer, Stieglitz (1864–1946) was a visionary promoter of modern American and European art, and he assembled a vast art collection of exceptional breadth and depth. Through a succession of influential galleries that he ran in New York City between 1905 and 1946, Stieglitz exhibited many of the most important artists of the era, and he collected works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Constantin Brancusi, Gino Severini, Vasily Kandinsky, Georgia O'Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, John Marin, Charles Demuth, and Arthur Dove. For more than sixty years, the Alfred Stieglitz Collection has been the cornerstone of the Museum's holdings of modern American art.
The exhibition 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. Highlights include Picasso's Woman Ironing and Standing Female Nude, Kandinsky's Improvisation 27 (Garden of Love II), Brancusi's Sleeping Muse, O'Keeffe's Black Iris and Cow's Skull: Red, White, and Blue, Demuth's I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold, and Hartley's Portrait of a German Officer.
The exhibition is made possible by the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Foundation.