Alfred Stieglitz at ´An American Place`
No formal press views. No cocktail parties. No special invitations. No advertising
No institutions. No isms. No theories. No game being played.
Nothing asked of anyone who comes. No anything on the walls except what you see there.The doors of An American Place are ever open to all.
(Alfred Stieglitz on An American Place)
Alfred Stieglitz leans against a ledge in his gallery An American Place, his characteristic black coat still dressed, a framed picture of his wife Georgia O'Keeffe cropped behind him. The photograph was taken in 1934, when the photographer, art dealer and publisher was already one of the most influential people in the American art world and devoted most of his time to running his gallery. An American Place opened in 1929 on the seventeenth floor of a newly constructed high-rise on Madison Avenue in New York. Georgia O'Keeffe's work was exhibited several times, including in the solo exhibition Georgia O'Keeffe: Exhibition of Paintings (1919-1934), which opened shortly after the portrait was made, in January 1935. Cunningham was based on the West Coast in Seattle, but her fame extended to the East Coast, and Stieglitz admired her as well. In the 1934 portrait, this mutual appreciation is evident. The carefully focused image captures what appears to be Stieglitz's serious yet hidden tender personality. Another reference can be made using Georgia O'Keeffe's painting in the background. Cunningham's close-up modernist plant studies from the 1920s are among her most popular photographs. In an amusing case of "convergence," as biologists call the similarity of unrelated species, her work repeatedly invited comparisons with Georgia O'Keeffe's paintings. The present vintage print is mounted on cardboard and signed and dated on it by Cunningham in pencil.