Paul Strand was the transitional figure in the shift from pictorialism to the ‘"straight” approach in creative American photography. In 1915 he abandoned soft-focus effects, at Stieglitz’s urging, and began making images with a directness and purity considered inherent in the photographic medium. Among the earliest were street portraits, including this one, which evidenced the strong social and humanistic consciousness that characterized Strand’s work throughout his long career. He wrote in the last issue of Camera Work (where this image appeared), “Photography is only a new road trom a ditterent direction but moving toward the common goal, which is Life.” In addition to contributing gravures to Camera Work, Strand issued his 1942 Mexican Portfolio as a limited-edition set of handprinted photogravures. (Peterson)
Peterson, Christian A. Camera Work: Process & Image : [exhibition, Minneapolis, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, August 31-November 3, 1985, Seattle, Seattle Art Museum, November 22, 1985-February 2, 1986]. Minneapolis: Minneapolis Institute of arts, 1985. p. 72.
Stange, Maren, Robert Adams, and Alan Trachtenberg. Paul Strand: Essays on His Life and Work. New York: Aperture, 1990. no. 9.