Lady Ian Hamilton, 1907, printed 1909
Edward J. Steichen (American, born Luxembourg, 1879–1973)
Direct carbon print; 19 13/16 x 15 9/16 in. (50.4 x 39.6 cm)
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933 (33.43.24)
Lady Ian Hamilton (née Jean Muir) was the wife of General Sir Ian Standish Monteith Hamilton, an officer in the British Army best known for his command during the pivotal Battle of Gallipoli in 1915, which the British lost. Lady Ian Hamilton, however, is more favorably known as a tastemaker in early twentieth-century London. John Singer Sargent painted her portrait in 1896 (now in Tate Britain), and in 1914 she had three rooms in her spacious Victorian home at 1 Hyde Park Gardens decorated with works from the Omega Workshop, a design firm in which she was an original shareholder and that was led by Roger Fry and Vanessa Bell. Omega produced linens, stained glass, furniture, and rugs and counted among its clients Gertrude Stein, W. B. Yeats, Virginia Woolf, and George Bernard Shaw. Here, several years before her involvement with the decorative arts firm, Steichen captures her in all her fashionable, aristocratic splendor.