The Flatiron

Artist: Edward J. Steichen (American (born Luxembourg), Bivange 1879–1973 West Redding, Connecticut)

Date: 1904

Medium: Gum bichromate over platinum print

Dimensions: 47.8 x 38.4 cm (18 13/16 x 15 1/8 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933

Accession Number: 33.43.43

Rights and Reproduction: © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Description

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.

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