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A Wet Night, Columbus Circle, New York Fraser, William A.  (American, 1840-1925)

One of the most highly praised photographs of its day, this image was hailed as both a technical and artistic tour-de-force. While isolated experiments in night photography had been made in the 1880s, some of the earliest and most artistic night images were made in New York by William Fraser. His preference for the effects of snow or rain took him out in the most unpleasant conditions but resulted in images of great subtlety and mystery. Beautifully detailed from shadows to highlights, this work celebrates the new beauty of the electric light while functioning as a visual poem of natural Impressionism. (Nelson Atkins)

Reproduced / Exhibited

MoMA Object number 115.1944.11

Davis, Keith F. An American Century of Photography: From Dry Plate to Digital. Kansas City, Mo: Hallmark Cards, 1999. Print. p. 89

Stieglitz, Alfred, Richard Whelan, and Sarah Greenough. Stieglitz on Photography: His Selected Essays and Notes. New York, NY: Aperture Foundation, 2000. p. 84