Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946)
The Steerage, 1907
- 15 7/8 x 11 1/16 in. (40.4 x 28.1 cm)
- The Jewish Museum, New York
- Purchase: Mr. and Mrs. George Jaffin Fund, 2000-6
- © 2008 Georgia O'Keefe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Not on view
Notice the juxtaposition of circular shapes with straight lines, and the balanced composition bisected by the white walkway, or the intersecting diagonals that lead the eye in several directions at once. This photograph typifies Stieglitz’s dual interests in modernity and formal harmony, in this case played out through the saga of American immigration.
Alfred Stieglitz began his photographic career as a student in Germany in 1883. Although he was born in New Jersey, Stieglitz moved with his family to Germany in 1881. He returned to the United States in 1890 and became active in the New York photography scene. Through the galleries he founded, the journals he edited, and the exhibitions he organized, Stieglitz helped elevate the technical art of photography to the status of painting and sculpture. He also did much to advance the careers of many young artists, as well as the field of modern art in general.