Our Art / Alfred Stieglitz

Alfred Stieglitz

Few individuals have exerted as strong an influence on 20th century American art and culture as the photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946). He worked tirelessly through his efforts as a photographer, collector, curator, writer, and publisher to establish photography as a legitimate medium of fine art. At a time when art was narrowly defined as painting or sculpture, he elevated photography's status to that of fine art through curating exhibitions and publishing his writing. In 1905, he cofounded a gallery and organized numerous pioneering exhibitions in New York, and he promoted photographic work in his influential journals.

His early work was more experimental, practicing photographic techniques that aimed to “create” a unique image rather than simply document a scene. His later work focused more in depth on a few subjects, including a portrait series of his wife, the painter Georgia O'Keeffe.