Portrait of Mr. R Stieglitz, Alfred  (American, 1864-1946)

Stieglitz had long admired Randolph’s balance of sweetness and dignity, but whenever he persuaded Randolph to pose, the old man became hopelessly self-conscious. So Stieglitz decided to try a trick. One day he took Randolph on a stroll around the grounds of Oaklawn until they arrived at the spot, in front of some dense foliage, where the photographer had set up his camera and tripod. Stieglitz then said he wanted to check their placement for a figure-study he was planning, and he offhandedly asked Randolph to stand in front of the camera for a moment. As soon as the unsuspecting—and thus completely relaxed—Randolph complied, Stieglitz squeezed the shutter-release bulb he had hidden in his pocket. The result, in which the subject’s face and hands are dramatically highlighted against the featureless dark background and against his black frock coat, in the style of the French painter Leon Bonnat, is the equal of any daguerreotype by the great American portrait partnership of Albert Sands Southworth and Josiah Johnson Hawes. From American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Almanac for 1898.

Reproduced / Exhibited

Stieglitz, Alfred, Richard Whelan, and Sarah Greenough. Stieglitz on Photography: His Selected Essays and Notes. New York, NY: Aperture Foundation, 2000. p. 78

Homer, William I, Catherine Johnson, and Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz and the Photo-Secession, 1902. London: Penguin Putnam, 2002.


Whelan, Richard. Alfred Stieglitz: A Biography. Boston: Little, Brown, 1995. p. 80