Edward Steichen, 1879 – 1973
Brooklyn Bridge, 1903.
Gloria Swanson, New York, 1924.
Drizzle On Fortieth Street, New York, 1925.
Edward Steichen (1879-1973) is unquestionably one of the most prolific, versatile, influential, and indeed controversial names in the history of photography. He was admired by many for his achievements as a fine art photographer, while impressing countless others with the force of his purely commercial accomplishments. Portraiture, the nude, fashion, landscape, cityscape, dance, theatre, war, advertising, still life and flower photography – no genre of photography, it seems, went unexplored by this innovative image maker, and thanks to his characteristic zeal for experimentation, few of these genres went unchanged. Graphic design, typography, and art direction – these areas too, proved fertile grounds for Steichen’s creativity. Although his photographic production alone was enough to earn him a full chapter in the history of photography, Steichen added to his laurels via flamboyantly curatorial efforts, most notable his widely acclaimed exhibition The Family Man, which began touring internationally in 1955 and attracted well over nine million visitors worldwide.