“Photography is not an art. Neither is painting, literature or music. They are only different media for the individual to express his aesthetic feelings. You do not have to be a painter or a sculptor to be an artist. You maybe a shoemaker. You may be creative as such. And, if so, you are a greater artist than the majority of the painters whose work is shown in the art galleries of today” – Alfred Stieglitz
Born in 1864, Alfred Stieglitz was an American photographer also known as the founder of the Photo-Secessionist and Pictorialist photography movement.
He spent 50 years of his career making photography accepted as an art form. He considered himself to be artist with a camera and refused to sell his photographs or seek employment doing anything else.
As well as being the editor of Phytochrome, a magazine purely dedicated to photography, he also was the coeditor of the American Amateur Photographer where he wrote most of the articles and reviews in the magazine. He gaines an enthusiastic audience for both his technical and his critical writings.
He has and continues to influence many generations of photographers, painters and sculptors alike. He elevated photography’s status to the level of painting and sculpture through numerous pioneering exhibitions.
Alfred Stieglitz was also a brilliant photographer in his own right. His early photographs were pictorials style and his late work focused in depth on a few subjects such as New York City, the cloud studies that he called “Equivalents” and a portrait series of his wife, Georgia O’Keefe.
Alfred Stieglitz significance lies as much in his work as an art dealer, exhibition organiser, publisher and editor as it does in his career as a photographer.
Here is a documentary about the man himself.