An absolutely monumental volume to match the grand vision of this seminal twentieth century artist, a man that sculptor Auguste Rodin called "the greatest photographer of his time." Edited by Steichen's wife and widow Joanna Steichen, Steichen's Legacy gathers together over 300 photographs from all phases of his life, and traces his shift from painter to photographer. More than an invaluable resource, this is a lasting tribute to a great man.
Edward Steichen was a visionary determined to show that photography was an art form as well as a craft, which explains the painterly style characterizing his early images. His portraits resonate with echoes of Whistler and Sargent; like Whistler, he used terms such as pastorale and nocturne as titles for his landscapes to suggest their affinity with music. His experiments with color images of flowers, dating as early as 1907, look back to the paintings of Fantin-Latour yet anticipate Robert Mapplethorpe. He explored photography's potential to immortalize the chance play of shadows on flat surfaces and the unexpected beauty of decayed plants. Beyond his artistic eye, Steichen's sensitivity and daring were evident in the international photographic exhibition The Family of Man that he organized for the Museum of Modern Art in 1955. The text of Steichen's Legacy is written by the photographer's widow, Joanna, who met Steichen when he was 80 and she was 28. Though her intensely personal recollections are a unique window on Steichen's life and an excellent source of anecdote, they form an uneasy mix of art history and biography--the loving memories of one so intimate with Steichen do not form the most solid base for analyzing his work. Her choice of images, however, and the book's rich visual presentation make it a magnificent tribute to one of photography's great interpreters and innovators. His legacy is well served by the 300 high-quality duotones, tritones, and full-color images that illustrate this substantial volume, printed in Italy on fine art paper and a tour de force of book production. --John Stevenson
ISBN: 0679450769Buy on Amazon
Hardcover : 408 pages
Hardcover : 408 pages