Title: The Flat Iron—New York
Dimensions: Image: 12 7/8 × 6 5/8 in. (32.7 × 16.8 cm)
Sheet: 18 × 12 1/2 in. (45.7 × 31.8 cm)
Mount: 18 1/4 × 13 1/16 in. (46.3 × 33.2 cm)
Mat: 20 1/2 × 15 15/16 in. (52 × 40.5 cm)
Bequest of William P. Chapman, Jr., Class of 1895
By the 1890s photography had effectively broken down into documentary and pictorialist, or "art" photography. During the next half century, Stieglitz's name would become synonymous with the pictoralist movement through his almost unstinting championship of photography as an art form. As a student in Berlin, Stieglitz studied photochemistry; returning to the United States in 1890 he became a partner in the Heliochrome Company, a photoengraving business, and served as editor of the American Amateur Photographer from 1893Ð96. This was followed by the editorship of Camera Notes, the publication of the new Camera Club of New York. By the turn of the century Stieglitz was an internationally known photographer. In 1902 he established the Photo-Secession with an exhibition at the National Arts Club and at the same time resigned as editor of Camera Notes to start a new quarterly, CameraWork. His standards for the publication were high: the gravures were printed on Japan tissue, retaining the delicate tones of the original and then hand-tipped into the publication. The Flat Iron, published in the October 1903 issue, distinguishes the subtle nuances of the process and shows Stieglitz's own high standards. The image itself reflects the dichotomy of his own vision of New York as powerful and modern, yet still almost fragile in its beauty. (From “A Handbook of the Collection: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art," 1998)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.