by Gerald Boerner
“In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.” — Alfred Stieglitz, Photographer and Art Promoter
Bonus: Photographer’s Thought for the Day… “My ideal is to achieve the ability to produce numberless prints from each negative, prints all significantly alive, yet indistinguishably alike, and to be able to circulate them at a price not higher than that of a popular magazine, or even a daily paper. To gain that ability there has been no choice but to follow the road I have chosen.”
— Alfred Stieglitz, from Exhibition Catalogue, Anderson Galleries, New York
Bonus: Photographer’s Thought for the Day… “The arts equally have distinct departments, and unless photography has its own possibilities of expression, separate from those of the other arts, it is merely a process, not an art; but granted that it is an art, reliance should be placed unreservedly upon those possibilities, that they may be made to yield the fullest results.”
— Alfred Stieglitz, Photographer
Alfred Stieglitz was an American photographer and modern art promoter who was instrumental over his fifty-year career in making photography an accepted art form. In addition to his photography, Stieglitz is known for the New York art galleries that he ran in the early part of the 20th century, where he introduced many avant-garde European artists to the U.S. He was married for most of his life to painter Georgia O’Keeffe.
Within two months Stieglitz had assembled a collection of prints from a close circle of his friends, which, in homage to the Munich photographers, he called the Photo-Secession. Stieglitz had full control over the selection of prints for the show, and by putting it together Stieglitz was not only declaring a secession from the general artistic restrictions of the era but specifically from the official oversight of the Camera Club. The show opened at the Arts Club in early March 1902, and it was an immediate success. He had achieved his dream of putting together an exhibit judged solely by photographers (in this case, himself), and both the Arts Club members and the public responded with critical acclaim.
Invigorated by positive responses he received, he began formulating a plan for his next big move – to publish a completely independent magazine of pictorial photography to carry forth the same artistic standards of the Photo-Secessionist. By July he had fully resigned as editor of Camera Notes, and one month later he published a prospectus for a new journal he called Camera Work. He was determined it would be "the best and most sumptuous of photographic publications.”.
[Biographical information is from the Wikipedia article on Alfred Stieglitz that can be found at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Stieglitz ]