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Article

Judith Zilczer

Journal devoted to photography that was published from 1903 to 1917. Camera Work evolved from a quarterly journal of photography to become one of the most ground-breaking and influential periodicals in American cultural history. Founded in January 1903 by photographer Alfred Stieglitz as the official publication of the Photo-Secession, the journal originally promoted the cause of photography as a fine art. As Stieglitz, its editor and publisher, expanded the journal’s scope to include essays on aesthetics, literature, criticism and modern art, Camera Work fueled intellectual discourse in early 20th-century America.

Camera Work mirrored the aesthetic philosophy of its founder Alfred Stieglitz. The journal resulted from his decade-long campaign to broaden and professionalize American photography. Serving for three years as editor of American Amateur Photographer (1893–6), Stieglitz championed the expressive potential of photography and advocated expanded exhibition opportunities comparable to those available in European photographic salons. In 1897, when the Society of Amateur Photographers merged with the New York Camera Club, Stieglitz convinced the enlarged organization to replace their modest leaflet with a more substantial quarterly journal, Camera Notes, which he edited until ...

Article

(b Mexico City, Jul 28, 1874; d Mexico City, Mar 30, 1938).

Mexican photographer, journalist, and collector. Casasola initially studied typography before becoming a reporter in 1894. He probably began taking photographs to illustrate his articles and in 1902 traveled to Veracruz to photograph a tour by President Porfirio Díaz. Newspapers that publicly criticized Díaz or his government were often harassed or closed, thus articles and their illustrations often focused exclusively on positive aspects of Mexican life, such as the development of infrastructure, the growth of trade, and the pastimes of the elites living in Mexico City (see Monasterio 2003, 32–41). At the same time, Casasola sometimes photographed scenes of everyday life, traveling, for example, to haciendas near Mexico City to photograph the peasant farmworkers. In these images he took care, lest he attract the ire of the government, to avoid any display of the harsh conditions that characterized life for the majority of Mexicans outside of the capital.

In 1905 Agustín and his brother Miguel were both working as photographers for ...

Article

Deborah Cullen

[MoMA] (New York)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 by patrons Lillie P(lummer) Bliss, Cornelius J. Sullivan and Rockefeller family §(1) to establish an institution devoted to modern art. Over the next ten years the Museum moved three times and in 1939 settled in the Early Modern style building (1938–9) designed by Philip S. Goodwin and Edward Durell Stone that it still occupies at 11 West 53 Street. Subsequent renovations and expansions occurred in the 1950s and 1960s by Philip Johnson, in 1984 by Cesar Pelli and in 2002–4 by Yoshirō Taniguchi (b 1937). MoMA QNS, the temporary headquarters during this project, was subsequently used to provide art storage. In 2000, MoMA and the contemporary art space, P.S.1, Long Island City, Queens, announced their affiliation. Recent projects are shown at P.S.1 in Queens in a renovated public school building.

According to founding director, Alfred H(amilton) Barr...

Article

Judith Zilczer

(b Hoboken, NJ, Jan 1, 1864; d New York, July 13, 1946).

American photographer, editor, publisher, patron and dealer. Internationally acclaimed as a pioneer of modern photography, he produced a rich and significant body of work between 1883 and 1937 (see fig.). He championed photography as a graphic medium equal in stature to high art and fostered the growth of the cultural vanguard in New York in the early 20th century.

The first of six children born to an upper-middle-class couple of German–Jewish heritage, Stieglitz discovered the pleasure of amateur photography after 1881, when his family left New York to settle temporarily in Germany. His father, Edward Stieglitz, had retired from a successful business in the wool trade with a fortune that enabled him to educate his children abroad. In 1882 Alfred enrolled in the mechanical engineering programme of the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, but he spent his spare time experimenting with photography in a darkroom improvised in his student quarters. His self-directed experiments led him to study photochemistry with the eminent scientist Hermann ...

Article

James Smalls

(b Cedar Rapids, IA, June 17, 1880; d New York, Dec 21, 1964).

American patron and photographer. He began his career as a music and theatre critic, and as a novelist of light fiction. After graduating from the University of Chicago in 1906, he joined the staff of the New York Times as an assistant music critic and soon gained prominence within the worlds of music, theatre, and the performing arts. In 1932 Van Vechten gave up these activities and became a full-time amateur photographer. As a well-connected patron of the arts and letters, Van Vecthen gave African American writers their first break by introducing them and their work to key individuals in the white-operated world of publishing. He became an invaluable asset in this regard to authors such as Langston Hughes, Wallace Thurman, and Zora Neale Hurston. He also assisted the African American artist Aaron Douglas in securing commissions of graphic designs for various magazines and authored books. Later in life, Douglas publicly acknowledged Van Vechten’s importance in getting the artist started in his career as an artist....