Alfred Stieglitz and Painting by Georgia O'Keeffe, at an American Place, New York City

Accession Number

Alfred Stieglitz and Painting by Georgia O'Keeffe, at an American Place, New York City

Ansel Adams

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1944; printed 1981

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

10 11/16 in x 7 1/2 in (27.15 cm x 19.05 cm);28 1/4 in x 22 1/4 in (71.75 cm x 56.52 cm);20 1/16 in x 16 1/16 in (50.96 cm x 40.8 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Harry H. Lunn, Jr.

Label copy
When Ansel Adams was first introduced to the venerable and influential Alfred Stieglitz in 1933, the meeting did not appear very promising to the younger photographer. Invited to look over Adams's portfolio, Stieglitz twice examined the works in silence and initially had no comment. Since Stieglitz occupied the only chair in the room, Adams was forced to await Stieglitz’s judgment perched atop a hot radiator. Stieglitz was so impressed with Adams's work that he gave Adams a one-man show at his gallery, An American Place, and the two men became good friends.
Stieglitz's role as champion and advocate of modernism and straight photography furthered the careers of a number of artists and photographers. The eighty-year old Stieglitz is shown here at his gallery, sitting beneath an abstract painting by his wife, the painter Georgia O'Keeffe.
Carole McNamara, Assistant Director for Collections & Exhibitions
on the occasion of the exhibition New York Observed: The Mythology of the City
(July 13 – September 22, 2003)

Subject matter
This photograph shows the the photographer Alfred Stieglitz seated in a softly-lit interior, a tall vertical painting by the painter, Georgia O’Keeffe, positioned above his head. Taken during his later years, the acclaimed artist stares expressionless into space, his introverted gaze containing hints of consternation. Positioned in the bottom left corner of the composition, his upper torso is framed leaning against a wall with a shelf, the line of the ledge passing behind his head across the picture. Above his head sits the painting by O’Keeffe, Stieglitz’s wife. Although intimately close, they lived far apart, with Stieglitz in New York, and O’Keeffe in New Mexico. Minimally composed, the painting is divided straight down the middle by a sharp gash-like mark, which is crossed by a curved line near the top. This vertical line points down and meets the shelf, forming a perpendicular intersection meeting directly at his head. Shot with a sharp focus and printed in a subtlety shifting spread of grey tones, this composition emphasizes the intimate and complicated relationship between Stieglitz and O’Keeffe, as well as her absence.

Physical Description
This photograph shows the photographer Alfred Stieglitz seated in an interior, a tall, vertical painting by Georgia O’Keeffe positioned on a picture railing above his head.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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art galleries (institutions)
heads (animal components)
interior spaces (spaces by location)
interior walls
men (male humans)
modern and contemporary art
old age
paintings (visual works)
portrait format

& Author Notes

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