Edward Steichen

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Edward Steichen, photographed by Fred Holland Day (1901)

Edward Jean Steichen (March 27, 1879 – March 25, 1973) was an American photographer, painter, and art gallery and museum curator.


  • Photography records the gamut of feelings written on the human face, the beauty of the earth and skies that man has inherited, and the wealth and confusion man has created. [It is] a major force in explaining man to man.
  • Today, I am no longer concerned with photography as an art form. I believe it is potentially the best medium for explaining man to himself and his fellow man.
    • Edward Steichen (1967),, cited in: National Portrait Gallery (Smithsonian Institution), ‎Carolyn Kinder Carr, ‎National Portrait Gallery (Great Britain) (2003). Americans: paintings and photographs from the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, Deel 3. p. 207

Quotes about Edward Steichen

  • He used lighting to create these kind of abstract environments for his subjects—in our show, there's a portrait of Maurice Chevalier dancing while holding his hat, but the shadows of him and his arm look like they're almost dancing in these abstract forms. The focus is very much on him and his face, yet it's all constructed in a very modernist environment.
    "Thoroughly Modern Steichen", senior curatorial assistant of "Edward Steichen in the 1920s and 1930s: A Recent Acquisition" exhibition, Carrie Springer, Interview, Hannah Ghorashi, 12/5/13.
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