Edward J. Steichen (American, born Luxembourg, 18791973)
Coated gum bichromate over platinum print; 11 5/16 x 9 1/2 in. (28.8 x 24.2 cm)
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1933 (33.43.29)
291 Fifth Avenue was the address of Alfred Stieglitz's first gallery, the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, commonly known as "291." Stieglitz opened the gallery in 1905, promoting and exhibiting fine art photography in what had formerly been Steichen's studio. 291 would soon offer Americans their first opportunity to see exceptional modern painting in exhibitions featuring the Europeans Henri Matisse, Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso, and Paul Cézanne, and the Americans John Marin, Arthur Dove, and Marsden Hartley. Steichen's portrait of Stieglitz, made shortly before Stieglitz closed 291 in June 1917, captures the bristling power of this persuasive early advocate of the avant-garde.