I was interested to see these prints from such a famous source but to tell the truth I was a little disappointed. The prints were all quite small, not that it's a real problem, the gallery was a little bit dim but it was the subject matter that got to me in the end.
He was obviously quite obsessed with Georgia O'Keefe and clouds. If you took those out there wasn't much to show and I would have expected a greater variety of subject matter in some 150 prints.
He was certainly a real pioneer in his day, moving photography away from the stilted formal portraiture that was the current fashion, and modern photography owes him a considerable debt but to my mind his work didn't stand up so well to many photographers of the post war period.
Went to the exhibition a few days ago. I really enjoyed it and am grateful that I had the opportunity to view such an excellent collection of a seminal photographer's work in person.
Agree with the comments about the dim lighting, but perhaps because of the previous posts it wasn't quite as bad as I expected.
Two things struck me:
1. The prints were much smaller than I anticipated. Most were about 4x5inch, a few about 8x10inch and very little larger than that (if any). Does this mean they would have been contact printed? Presumably the move towards exhibiting at 16x20 or so has been a more recent development. The small sizes did give a nice feeling of intimacy though.
2. Most of the prints tended towards the darker end of the tonal spectrum. i.e. not much high-key stuff: the portrait of the neice was one of the few exceptions. Even the cloud "equivalents" were printed quite darkly. (Not helped by the already mentioned dim lighting)
Thanks to AGNSW for pulling it all together.
PS At $40, the exhibition catalogue is well worth it too.
I've seen hundreds of Steiglitz prints over the years at the NGA in Washington. I must say that I think his gelatin silver work from the early 20's on is his finest. Nobody ever made better prints than some of these. Not even Weston. Don't pass it up.
Originally Posted by MattKing