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Alfred Stieglitz

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Alfred Stieglitz

American, (1864–1946)
Alfred Stieglitz (January 1, 1864 - July 13, 1946) was an American photographer whose contributions to the development of Modernism in the twentieth century was instrumental in elevating photography from a mere form of documentation to an accepted artistic medium.

Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, Stieglitz briefly studied mechanical engineering in Berlin before returning to the United States in 1890 to continue his education in photochemistry. In 1902, Stieglitz and several other like-minded photographers founded the group Photo-Succession, which advocated an emphasis on the craftsmanship involved in photography. Many members of the group made extensive use of elaborate, labor-intensive techniques that underscored the role of the photographer’s hand in making photographic prints, determined to demonstrate that photography was a medium as capable of artistic expression as painting or sculpture. For Stieglitz, technique was of utmost importance, and he took great care in creating his platinum prints with close attention paid to tonality and composition. Among his most iconic photographs are the portraits of his wife, renowned painter Georgia O'Keeffe, whom he made several hundred photographs of between 1917 and 1925.

In his latter years, Stieglitz devoted much of his time to running his art galleries in New York. As his health declined, Stieglitz made photographs less frequently, and when he did photograph, he often did so out of the window of his gallery. Stieglitz died on July 13, 1946 in New York City.

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