photography

Capturing images on film has fascinated the human spirit for centuries…

In the 16th century artists and scientists used light passing through a small
hole in a dark room to project inverted images on the opposite wall. Later the
hole was replaced with a lens and by the 18th century a portable box had
replaced the room. In 1727, it was discovered that certain chemicals turned dark
when exposed to light. The first attempt to use these chemicals to record the
image of a camera was made by Thomas Wedgwood in about 1800. This first attempt
was unsuccessful. In 1839, a Frenchmen named Louis Daguerre produced a metal
picture called the Daguerreotype. (“Photography, History and Art of “ 379)

Artistic Photographic images first began appearing in 1889, by Peter Emerson.
He came up with the first idea that there should be 2 types of photography,
artistic and practical. Emerson inspired a new group of photographers with
exciting new ideas and plans. (“Photography, History and Art of “ 380) By
the early 20th century, a network of artistic photographers existed; including
the Linked Ring of Brotherhood in London (founded in 1892) and the Photo
Secession in New York (founded in 1902). This new movement produced many
exceptional photographers one of them being, Alfred Stieglitz. (“Photography,
History and Art of “ 381)

A person who has played a major role in the development of photography as an
art form is Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz was born in 1864 to wealthy Jewish
parents. He was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was educated in photography in
Berlin, Germany. His works spanned 2 centuries, the nineteenth and twentieth
centuries. Photography was his passion and his

search for honesty was his obsession. He tried to illustrate his passion and
obsession in his work. His photography was the medium though which he expressed
himself (Lowe 39). His background and family life was influenced by an emphasis
on education. His family emigrated from Europe to the United States. There is
not much information about Stieglitz’s family life between their return to
Europe in 1866 and their move in 1871 to New York. At school in Hoboken, Alfred
became actively interested in baseball. This love of the game of baseball would
continue throughout his life. Alfred’s detailed descriptions of the thrills of
sandlot baseball took on some of the color of reporting that kept him glued to
the radio during the World Series (Lowe 39). The feats he described at age seven
were extraordinary. At this young age the intensity of his efforts to excel and
the dependence that led him to be inventive about the rules of the game of life.
At age 8, Alfred moved from Hoboken – across the Hudson to Manhattan. That
year Stieglitz and his twin siblings started classes at the Charlier Institute
– a prestigious private school for boys. Family members described Stieglitz
when he was a child as delicate, poetic, and moody (Lowe 45). In June of 1879,
Alfred graduated from Townsend Harris High School. Thus, at the age of 15, he
was enrolled as a freshman at the College of the City of New York. Later he
returned to Germany to study photochemistry. After ten years in Europe, He
returned to New York City and people there had already knew of his works. He
became a partner in the Photochrome Engraving Co. He became interested in
promoting photography as a whole and artistic expression. He worked as Editor of
the American Amateur Photographer. He shed and edited his own magazine Camera
Work, from 1903 to 1917. His periodical changed photography for the world. He
also set up and judged national exhibits of Pictorialist photography. He looked
over the 291 Photo-Secession Gallery, where he and others tried to awake the
American public to modern European movements in visual arts (Lowe 47).

As a photographer himself, he became to feel for the New York life and take
pictures of it. His work was considered inappropriate for artistic treatment in
photography. His personal style evolved the influence of German painting and
Japanese woodblock and two images embody the reality of time. After the closing
of the 291 and his magazine, Camera Work. He went back to his own work. (Lowe
48) He took pictures, which would try and convey an emotional and psychological
meaning. Alfred couldn’t handle life without a gallery. Between the years of
1917 and 1925 he used rooms at the Anderson Galleries, to promote work of a
group of American modernists in both painting and photography. He also opened
two other galleries after that. He died at the age of 82 in 1946