Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Ebony and Ivory

Artist:
F. Holland Day (American, Norwood, Massachusetts 1864–1933 Norwood, Massachusetts)
Date:
ca. 1897
Medium:
Platinum print
Dimensions:
18.3 x 20.0 cm (7 3/16 x 7 7/8 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933
Accession Number:
33.43.166
Not on view
Although masked in the guise of exoticism or allegory, Day’s male figure studies—many of them nudes—have an undeniable element of eroticism. Although the artist’s sexuality was not discussed at the time, the esthete Day’s lifelong bachelorhood, his admiration and publication of Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley, his flamboyant manner, and his ongoing interest in photographing male nudes leads one to conclude that these studies were more than mere forays into the exotic or demonstrations of technical prowess in studio lighting and subtle platinum printing. The overt celebration of his model’s majestic countenance and muscled torso in An Ethiopian Chief and the exquisite rendering of dark skin against a black background in Ebony and Ivory point to a genuine delectation for his subject.
Alfred Stieglitz

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Collection of Alfred Stieglitz," May 18, 1978–July 16, 1978.

Fort Worth, Tex. Amon Carter Museum of American Art. "Photography in Nineteenth Century America," October 26, 1991–January 5, 1992.

Amherst, Mass. Mead Art Museum, Amherst College. "Photography in Nineteenth Century America," February 1, 1992–March 29, 1992.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. "Lost Paradise: Symbolist Europe," June 8, 1995–October 15, 1995.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photographic Treasures from the Collection of Alfred Stieglitz," October 13, 2011–February 26, 2012.

Musée d'Orsay. "MASCULINE / MASCULINE: The Naked Man in Art from 1800 to the Present Day," September 23, 2013–January 2, 2014.

Naef, Weston J. The Collection of Alfred Stieglitz: Fifty Pioneers of Modern Photography. Studio Book. 1st ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1978. no. 178.

Théberge, Pierre. Lost Paradise: Symbolist Europe. Montreal: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 1995. ill. 494.

Cogeval, Guy, Ulrich Pohlmann, and Xavier Rey. Masculin / Masculin: L'Homme nu dans l'Art de 1800 à nos Jours. Paris: Flammarion, 2013. no. 63.



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