STIEGLITZ, Alfred -- Father of Modern Photography
Alfred Stieglitz was an influential photographer who spent his life fighting for the recognition of photography as a valid art form. He was a pioneering photographer, editor and gallery owner who played pivotal role in defining and shaping modernism in the United States. (Barr 23). He took pictures in a time when photography was considered as only a scientific curiosity and not an art. As the controversy over the art value of photography became widespread, Stieglitz began to fight for the recognition of his chosen medium. This battle would last his whole life. Edward Stieglitz, father of Alfred, was born in Germany in 1833. He grew up on a farm, loved nature, and was an artist at heart. Legend has it that, independent and strong willed, Edward Stieglitz ran away from home at the age of sixteen because his mother insisted on upon starching his shirt after he had begged her not to (Barr 23). Edward would later meet Hedwig Warner and they would have their first son, Alfred. Alfred was the first of six born to his dad Edward and mom Hedwig. As a child Alfred was remembered as a boy with thick black hair, large dark eyes, pale fine skin, and a delicately modeled mouth with a strong chin (Max 34). In 1871 the Stieglitz family lived at 14 East 60th street in Manhattan. No buildings stood between Central Park and the Stieglitz family home. As Stieglitz got older he started to show interest in photography, posting every photo he could find on his bedroom wall. It wasn't until he got older that his photography curiosity begins to take charge of his life. Stieglitz formally started photography at the age of nineteen, during his first years at the Berlin Polytechnic School. At this time photography was in its infancy as an art form. Alfred learned the fine arts of photography by watching a local photographer in Berlin working in the store's dark room. After making a few pictures of his room and...
Cited: Barr, Alfred H. Jr. Masters of Modern Art; Simon and Schuster, 1954
Jeannette Buffincton Wieser, Leann Erickson. Stiegliti Revisited; Afterimage, Vol. 29, 2001.
Max Perchick. Alfred Stieglitz: Father of Modern Photography & Promoter of Modern Art; PSA Journal, Vol. 59, February 1993.
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