Steeplechase Day, Paris; Grand Stand Steichen, Edward  (American, 1879-1973)

Steichen recalled in his autobiography the taking of this photograph: One day in the summer of 1907, I borrowed from a friend a German hand camera called the Goerzanschutz Klapp camera. Armed with this camera, I made my first attempt at serious documentary reportage. I went to the Longchamps Races and found an extravagantly dressed society audience, obviously more interested in displaying and viewing the latest fashions than in following the horse races. The series was rare among the works of his Paris years, when most of his negatives were made in the studio. Although evidently attracted to the elaborate costumes, Steichen still rendered his subject with a fine eye for the dynamics of motion and space. [1]

In order to accurately simulate the tonalities of the original gum print, Stieglitz printed this photogravure in duogravure using two plates with different colors. Comparing this duogravure to the original print held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art reveals just how accurate this process could be when employed with great skill.

Reproduced / Exhibited

Steichen, Joanna, and Steichen. Steichens Legacy, Photographs, 1895-1973: With Text by Joanna Steichen. New York: Alfred A Knopf, 2000 pl 170

Witkin, , London, and Shestack. The Photograph Collector’s Guide. London: Secker & Warburg, 1979. p. 105


[1] The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin Spring 1978