New York: Alfred Stieglitz, 1903. First edition. Hardcover. Folio. 54pp. [18 pages of publisher's ads]. Original grey paper wrappers with white lettering on the covers, specially mounted on grey cloth boards for Stieglitz. Pages uncut. Dated April, 1903. Cover design by Eduard Steichen.
This is the second issue of the seminal quarterly art photography publication edited and published by pioneering photographer Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946). The entirety of the issue's photographic content is devoted to the work of Eduard Steichen (1879-1973), and it contains a total of 11 plates of images by the pioneering art photographer (with an addition reproduction in the ads section). Also included are various essays on Steichen as well as other articles on photography and aesthetic theory from a number of notable and historically important contributors to the field, including photographers and art critics, many of whom were members of or associated with Alfred Stieglitz's Photo-Secession movement.
Among the 12 b/w or sepia-toned images present, are some of Steichen's most acclaimed images, all finely printed: "Rodin", an atmospheric and silhouetted portrait of famed French sculptor Auguste Rodin (photogravure on tissue paper), the natural scene "The Pool" (gravure on tissue), his famous "Self-Portrait" (gravure on tissue), "Dawn-Flowers" (gravure on tissue), "Bartholomé" (gravure printed on heavy stock paper), "Dolor" (gravure on tissue), "Lenbach" a portrait of German painter Franz von Lenbach (gravure of tissue), "Besnard" a portrait of French painter Paul-Albert Besnard (offset reproduction on paper), "Portrait" (1903) (offset reproduction on paper), "Nude with Cat" (offset reproduction on paper), and "The Judgment of Paris - A Landscape Arrangement" (offset on paper). The final Steichen image is an offset reproduction printed on one side of an advertising page at the rear. No title for the image is given, but it seems to be a self-portrait of the photographer, from a side profile.
The text content includes two essays on Steichen's work, "An Appreciation" by art critic Charles H. Caffin (1854-1918) and "A Visit to Steichen's studio by Sidney Allan (Carl Sadakichi Hartmann, 1867-1944). Also included are an essay on color photography by R. Child Bayley, an essay on photographic salons by photographer Eva Watson-Schütze (1867–1935), and others. The final section of 18 unnumbered pages contain beautifully printed period advertisements for photography-related businesses, one of which contains the final Steichen image, serving as promotion for Kodak's photographic film stock.
Binding with light scratches, stains, and/or smudges to the covers. Corners with minor rubbing. Spine sunned with light bumping, rubbing and closed tears to the head and tail of the spine. Minor damp staining to endpapers and interior covers. Starting at the initial table of contents, p.21 and a few other pages throughout. A number pages (including plates) with minor to light foxing, mostly in the margins. "Portrait" plate with some creases to the corner of the image. Most images still clean and unaffected. Binding and interior in very good condition overall. vg. Item #50000
* Agnes Ernst Meyer (1887-1970) was an American journalist, philanthropist, civil rights activist, and art patron. She was a close a collaborator and friend of photographer Alfred Stieglitz, with whom she publishing the arts and literary magazine "291" (from 1915-916). She first encountered the work of photo-secession group, when she chanced upon Stieglitz's Gallery 291, while work as a reporter for the New York Sun newspaper. She was one of the first female journalists to work at the paper. Due to this fact Stieglitz often referred to her as the "Sun Girl". Along with Katharine Rhoades and Marion Beckett she was known as the one of "The Three Graces" of the Alfred Stieglitz artistic circle. She is well known for her political activism throughout her life on behalf many causes, including public education and racial equality in America.