Alfred Stieglitz (January 1, 1864 – July 13, 1946) was an American photographer and modern art promoter. He was instrumental over his fifty-year career in making photography an accepted art form and was an advocate for the Modernist movement.
He was born in the US but moved to Germany in 1881, where he studied mechanical engineering in Berlin and was first exposed to photography. He started writing technical photography articles in Germany and in the UK. Here he entered a few competitions, winning first place for his photography with The Last Joke, Bellagio, in 1887 from Amateur Photographer.
He returned to the US in 1890 and quickly became involved in the photography world as an editor of magazines, member of Camera Club. Additionally, he then established the Photo-Secession group in 1902 and the influential periodical Camera Work in 1903. He founded the first of his 3 galleries in 1905, where he exhibited photography and modernist painters and sculptors from Europe and America, including his later wife, Georgia O’Keeffe.
Alfred Stieglitz, The Eloquent Eye is a beautiful and moving PBS biography of the great artist and promoter. It shows his influence in shaping a new American vision of the arts and culture at a time of rapid and radical transformation in the landscape of the country’s society and culture. The film plays around that theme and shows how Stieglitz chronicles the transformation of society through his famous pictures such as “The Terminal”, “The Steerage” and the O’Keeffe portraits, as well as his lesser-known and early work.