The Silver Cap

Adolf de Meyer (American (born France), Paris 1868–1946 Los Angeles, California)
ca. 1909, printed 1912
Gelatin silver print
45.7 x 27.6 cm. (18 x 10 7/8 in.)
Credit Line:
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933
Accession Number:
Not on view
Born in Paris, Baron Adolf de Meyer settled in London in 1896. With his wife, Donna Olga Caraciollo, he joined the elegant set surrounding the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, Olga’s godfather. They entertained lavishly, including concerts and small fancy-dress balls, which gave de Meyer a chance to devise marvelous costumes for Olga. Likely inspired by the de Meyers’ involvement with the Ballets Russes and time spent at their villa on the Bosporus, this dress features Ottoman elements such as the full skirt and decorative trimmings yet conforms to the Western fitted waistline—a fine example of the 1910s fashion trend of exoticism.

De Meyer’s portraits, still lifes, flower studies, and architectural views were shown at the Photo-Secession Galleries from 1907 to 1912 and published in Camera Work. In the years that followed, he became known for his elegant portraits of society figures and celebrities and for revolutionizing fashion photography in the pages of Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Harper’s Bazaar by infusing the genre with the aesthetic tenets of Pictorialism.
#5510. The Silver Cap
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Inscription: Signed in pencil on mount, recto, BL: "DEMEYER [underlined]"
Alfred Stieglitz

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Collection of Alfred Stieglitz," May 18, 1978–July 16, 1978.

International Center of Photography. "Baron Adolf de Meyer," December 10, 1994–February 12, 1995.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photographic Treasures from the Collection of Alfred Stieglitz," October 13, 2011–February 26, 2012.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Quicksilver Brilliance: Adolf de Meyer Photographs," December 4, 2017–March 18, 2018.

Stieglitz, Alfred, ed. Camera Work: A Photographic Quarterly 40 (October 1912). no. II.

Naef, Weston J. The Collection of Alfred Stieglitz: Fifty Pioneers of Modern Photography. Studio Book. 1st ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1978. no. 218.

Ehrenkranz, Anne. A Singular Elegance: The Photographs of Baron Adolph de Meyer. New York: International Center of Photography, 1994. p. 69.