Weegee and Atget, the self-confessed documentarians, are revered as two of this medium's creative geniuses - in the mind of curators and historians - and as a result, the mind of photographers.
Historically, this isn't really true. It was other photographers--in Atget's case, mainly Berenice Abbott, and in Weegee's, Diane Arbus--who had a strong hand in getting them recognition in the art world. Weegee, during his life, was a shameless self-promoter who didn't need no steenking curators to get attention. Museum curators were followers, not leaders, of opinion.