Balzac – The Open Sky Steichen, Edward  (American, 1879-1973)

Steichen positioned Auguste Rodin in a contemplative pose reminiscent of the sculptor’s most recognized work, The Thinker.

Steichen’s relationship with Rodin represented an important link between European and American artistic circles during the first decade of the twentieth century. A member of the Photo-Secession, Steichen encouraged Stieglitz to open a gallery in New York to promote the club’s work. The Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession (later known as “291” from its address at 291 Fifth Avenue) opened in 1905. Soon, the gallery’s scope extended beyond photography to include other currents in modern art, such as the exhibition of Rodin’s watercolors and drawings that Steichen organized in 1908.

It was through Steichen’s contacts in the Parisian art world that Rodin, Matisse, Picasso, John Marin and many others were later featured in Caméra Work’s pages as well as on the walls of 291. Steichen also introduced Stieglitz to the work of Cézanne, Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec and Brancusi. It is ironic that the introduction of contemporary European art to an American audience was financed and organized through the efforts, enthusiasm and energy of two photographers.

Reproduced / Exhibited

De Andere Fotografie de Geschiedenis van de Fotomechanische Reproductie in de Negentiende Eeuw: tentoonstelling in het Zeeuws Museum Middelburg 1989 (The Other

Photography the History of Photomechanical Reproduction in the Nineteenth Century: Exhibition in the Zeeuws Museum Middelburg 1989) Exhibited chk 116

Steichen, Joanna, and Steichen. Steichens Legacy, Photographs, 1895-1973: With Text by Joanna Steichen. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2000 pl 127