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Hodge Kirnon by Alfred Stieglitz
Hodge Kirnon by Alfred Stieglitz

Hodge Kirnon, 1917

Alfred Stieglitz

One of the least well known and most beautiful of Stieglitz's portraits, this photograph depicts Hodge Kirnon, a man Stieglitz saw in passing every day. Kirnon operated the elevator that transported the visitors, critics and artworks to and from the photographer’s Midtown Manhattan gallery. Kirnon’s head is haloed by the rectangle of light coming through a window. He seems to be caught mid-gesture, arms lightly touching, body slightly turned, as if he’s on his way out of the frame. While assessing his life when preparing to close his historic gallery, the artist realized the elevator operator had accompanied him on the journey, and made this reflective portrait.

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Credit
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
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