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The artist

Edward Steichen was an American originally from Luxembourg. He was a magazine editor, gallery owner and the curator of the New York MOMA from 1947 to 1962. First a painter, he left for Paris to meet Rodin, whose work he admired. He produced several photographic series in the sculptor’s studio between 1902 and 1908. Introduced into French cultural circles, he photographed personalities such as Anatole France and Henri Matisse. At that time he adhered to the pictorialist movement and became one of its masters. He was also the editor of the magazine Camera Work and introduced the avant-garde artists of French photography to the American public. From 1915, he advocated “pure” or “straight” photography. He progressively evolved towards fashion photography and, in the early 1920s, Condé Nast chose him to become the leading photographer of the group’s publications. He worked for Vanity Fair and Vogue in particular, producing many portraits of celebrities. .  ... See more See less

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About the artwork

Calling on the most famous artists of their era, Condé Nast and Vogue magazine assembled a corpus of photographs that made fashion history. An icon of true elegance, this one was taken in June 1934 by American photographer and painter Edward Steichen (1879-1973). A magazine publisher, gallerist, and curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, he truly bridged the cultural divide between the USA and Europe. From 1895, he started to photograph his entourage, distinguishing himself through his atmospheric compositions, his poetic use of lighting, and taste for chiaroscuro. In the early 1920s, Condé Nast named him photographer-in-chief of the group’s publications, for which he created many portraits of celebrities. Eager to raise the status of fashion photography to that of an art form, he notably wrote to the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Edna Woolman Chase: “Make Vogue the equivalent of the Louvre”. Copyright © 1934 Condé Nast. All rights reserved. Condé Nast ® is a registered trademark of Advance Magazine Publishers Inc. Used under license.

Artwork details

Date photograph was taken

14 March 2018

Artwork subject

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