Spring Showers, The Coach Stieglitz, Alfred  (American, 1864-1946)

When he made this photograph, Stieglitz was vice president of the Camera Club of New York and editor of the club’s journal, where he reproduced this image. Like his fellow Pictorialists, Stieglitz often emulated Whistler’s delicate tonal effects by photographing in rain and snow. The then-current vogue for things Japanese is evident in the paper mount of this little picture, a contact print from the small negative made by a hand camera, Stieglitz’s preferred tool for capturing movement in the streets. This diminutive print preserves the original, surprisingly precious, aspect of works we have come to regard-from their later incarnations-as protomodern. [1]

In the late 1890s Stieglitz began a series of photographs of New York that would explore the city’s “myriad moods, lights, and phases," a theme he would revisit throughout his career. Several works from this series were published as photogravures in Camera Notes, beginning in October 1901 with An Icy Night (1898) and continuing in January 1902 with Spring Showers: the Coach (1901) and Spring Showers: the Sweeper (1901). Stieglitz seems to have printed the two Spring Showers as well as another image made around this time, The Flatiron (1903) (Key Set number 288), only as photogravures. [2]

Reproduced / Exhibited

Greenough, Sarah, and Alfred Stieglitz. Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set : the Alfred Stieglitz Collection of Photographs. Washington, D.C: National Gallery of Art, 2002. p. xxii

Stieglitz’s Portfolios and Other Published Photographs https://www.nga.gov/research/online-editions/alfred-stieglitz-key-set/portfolios-and-published-photographs.html


[1] MET website cited 01/25/23

[2] Thompson, Julia. Stieglitz’s Portfolios and Other Published Photographs National Gallery of Art. cited 02/04/23 https://www.nga.gov/research/online-editions/alfred-stieglitz-key-set/portfolios-and-published-photographs.html