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Monica McTighe

American photography foundation and publisher. Aperture magazine was founded in San Francisco in 1952 by American photographers Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Barbara Morgan, Minor White, Ernest Louie, Melton Ferris, and Dody Warren, with writer–curators Beaumont Newhall and Nancy Newhall. They intended the organization to serve as a forum for discussing photography, to exhibit photographers’ work, and to raise the profile of art photography in the United States.

The journal Aperture, which began publication in 1952, dedicated itself to the practice of photography as a fine art and thus distinguished itself from popular and commercial photographic periodicals. In this way the journal emulated Alfred Stieglitz’s Camera Work (1903–17). Photographer Minor White was the journal’s first editor and, under his tenure, it became concerned with the capacity of photography to deal with spirituality and profound human experiences. The first issue included the work of Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams, and French photographer Lisette Model. All contributors were urged to write about their own work. In ...

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

Anne Blecksmith

(b Kiev, Sept 4, 1919; d Miami, FL, Nov 19, 1999).

American painter, photographer and publishing executive of Ukrainian birth. Raised in England and France, he received a degree in philosophy and mathematics from the Sorbonne in 1930. Connected to the Russian exile community in Paris, he was introduced to artists Aleksandr Yakovlev and Marc Chagall. In 1931, he studied painting with André Lhote and enrolled at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture, where he was a student of Auguste Perret. Later that year, he transferred to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. While studying architecture, he was apprenticed to graphic artist Cassandre through whom he found work at the newsweekly Vu, where he created photomontage covers with Russian Constructivist sensibilities and later rose to art director. At Vu he worked with imagery by pioneers of 35 mm photography Henri Cartier-Bresson, Brassaï and Erich Salomon. A prolific photographer since childhood, he enthusiastically identified with the candid documentary style of the 35 mm camera.

Arriving in New York in ...

Article

Anne Ehrenkranz

(b Ribe, Denmark, May 3, 1849; d Barre, MA, May 26, 1914).

American photographer of Danish birth. The son of a school teacher and editor, he was well-educated when he came to the USA in 1870. He was a self-taught photographer and worked at a variety of jobs before becoming a journalist, and he understood the power of the written and illustrated word. Riis’s work in journalism began in 1873 when he was employed by the New York News Association. By 1874 he was editor and then owner of the South Brooklyn News. In 1878 he won a coveted job as a police reporter at the Tribune and found the basis of his life’s work in his assigned territory, Mulberry Bend, where the worst slums and tenements were (e.g. Mulberry Bend as It Was, see Riis, 1901, p. 265).

Using flash photographs to document articles and lectures, Riis emphasized the dehumanizing conditions of New York’s slums with works such as Tenement House Air-shaft...

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

Richard Lorenz

(Martin )

(b Minneapolis, MN, July 9, 1908; d Boston, MA, June 24, 1976).

American photographer and writer. He took his first photographs as a child with a Kodak Box Brownie camera and later learnt darkroom procedures as a student at the University of Minnesota. After graduating in 1933 with a degree in botany and English, he wrote poetry for five years while supporting himself with odd jobs. He moved to Portland, OR, in 1938 and became increasingly interested in photography. During 1938–9 he worked for the Works Progress Administration Federal Arts Project as a creative photographer documenting the early architecture and waterfront of Portland. In 1941 the Museum of Modern Art in New York exhibited several of his images. His first one-man show, photographs of the Grande Ronde-Wallowa Mountain area of north-eastern Oregon, opened at the Portland Art Museum in 1942.

White served in the Army Intelligence Corps from 1942 to 1945, during which time he wrote about photography but took few photographs. He visited Alfred Stieglitz in New York at his gallery, An American Place, in ...