STEICHEN, EDWARD (1879-1973) Portrait of Auguste Rodin. Gum bichromate print, 15 7/8 x 11 7/8 (402 x 300 mm) including black...
. Gum bichromate print, 15 7/8 x 11 7/8 (402 x 300 mm) including black borders, signed by Steichen recto in pencil (l.l.) and dated in his hand MCMVII (i.e. 1907), dry-mounted to gray card, small exhibit ink stamp on verso (reading "Name," "Address," Subject" etc., all uncompleted) with the pencilled notation "Buffalo Fine Arts Acad." written across the stamp. A few minor marks to the extreme edges of the print in the border, several very small spots to the image surface, overall in attractive condition.
From November 3 to December 1 1910 the Buffalo Fine Arts Academy's Albright Art Gallery (now the Albright-Knox Art Gallery) was the setting for the International Exhibition of Pictorial Photography, the first major show of the photography of the Photo-Secession. It was curated by Alfred Stieglitz. It was this exhibition that established not only the legitimacy of the Photo-Secession movement, but (in the United States, at least) that of photography as a creative medium. Stieglitz felt it was an ambition fulfilled, and wrote "The dream I had in 1885 in Berlin has been realized--the full recognition of photography by an important art museum." It seems likely from the stamped and pencilled notations mentioned above that this is the example that was hung in that exhibit, as item 401, one of thirty-one images by Steichen in the show.
If so, it soon after passed to Steichen's friends and patrons, Agnes and Eugene Meyer. Agnes Ernst Meyer was a contributor to the magazine 291 (see issue 1, page 2) and was a significant figure in Photo-Secession circles. Evocatively nicknamed "The Girl from the Sun" (the title of one of Steichen's portraits--she worked for the New York Sun, as a pioneering woman journalist). She was the subject of at least two Steichen photographs. The image was reframed circa May 1913 (based on the date of old newspapers used as lining), residing in that frame until its rediscovery by Doyle in 2013. The frame is sold with the photograph, although it is no longer displayed in it because of conservation concerns.
Agnes and Eugene Meyer, Mount Kisco, NY
Thence by descent in the family
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