Alfred Stieglitz (American, Hoboken, New Jersey 1864–1946 New York)
24.4 x 19.2 cm (9 5/8 x 7 9/16 in. )
Gift of Georgia O'Keeffe, through the generosity of The Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation and Jennifer and Joseph Duke, 1997
Not on view
On two separate occasions, a few years apart, O'Keeffe posed for Stieglitz holding first an anthropomorphic spoon from Côte d'Ivoire and then Henri Matisse's Female Torso, both exhibited at right. While the similarities between the photographic compositions are striking, Stieglitz's response to the African sculpture is charged with a heightened erotic energy. Beyond this noted difference, the Ivorian spoon and the bronze sculpture by one of the most admired modern masters appear to have the same aesthetic value in the photographer's eyes; used identically—as props—their similar scales and shared reference to the female body certainly augment that effect. Such visual associations were critical in changing the appreciation of African artifacts into works of art.
Alfred Stieglitz; by descent to his wife, Georgia O'Keeffe, Abiquiu, New Mexico
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "African Art, New York and the Avant-Garde," November 27, 2012–September 2, 2013.
Stieglitz, Alfred. Georgia O'Keeffe: A Portrait. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1997. no. 62.
Greenough, Sarah. Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set. Vol. 2. Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., 2002. no. 669.
O'Keeffe holds a small bronze by Matisse, "La Vie (Torso with Head)," 1906.