Sunday, March 27, 2022

Mar. 27: Edward Steichen, Luxembourgish-American photographer


Edward Steichen (1879-1973) was a Luxembourgish-American photographer credited with gaining photography its status as a "fine art." I knew Steichen's name before that of any other great photographer (even Ansel Adams) because an aunt passed along a copy of the book based on the project he curated while Director of the Department of Photography at New York's Museum of Modern Art: The Family of Man. The exhibit, featuring 503 photographs from 68 countries, was seen by nine million people at MOMA, then toured the world for eight years (and has experienced several revivals). The book (actually the exhibit's catalog), which has never been out of print, has sold over 4 million copies. Steichen also won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for a war documentary, The Fighting Lady; in 2006, a print of one of his photographs sold for US$2.9 million--at the time, the highest price ever paid for a photograph at auction.


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