Revisiting the Images of Alfred Stieglitz’s Camera Work Magazine

Two photographers have spent years compiling a complete set of Camera Work, Alfred Stieglitz’s groundbreaking publication that helped shepherd photography into the art world.

Comments: 18

  1. And here we are today, rapidly slamming together an infinite number of online photo layouts passing almost instantly from phone and other digital camera to cookie cutter layout. Such beauty, both in the photo and in the final book, which I can see only in my imagination and almost certainly never will hold and feel.

  2. Still, from Stieglitz himself : “The hand camera has come to stay — its importance is acknowledged,” Alfred Stieglitz begrudgingly declared at the end of an 1897 essay about Eastman Kodak’s campaign “You Press the Button, We Do the Rest.” For Stieglitz, this meant that “Every Tom, Dick and Harry could, without trouble, learn how to get something or other on a sensitive plate, and this is what the public wanted — no work and lots of fun.” From: Of Camera Work and Fine Art By Rena Silverman, Aug. 18, 2015. https://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/18/of-america-work-and-fine-art/

  3. It is a democratic ideal. People make pictures. Some subset make photographs. I happen to have a darkroom, but I don't think the important distinction is whether or not either activity is work, or fun.

  4. The journalist wrote with exquisite sensitiveness on this subject, one she very obviously loves and honors.

  5. Wonderful article. Thank you.

  6. Terrific. I've always been fascinated with Camera Work. It boggles my mind somebody today could put together a set of the originals.

  7. When I was in photography school in New Haven in the early 70s, a classmate found an issue of Camera Work, in excellent condition, in a book barn in Woodbridge for $2.00. To make it even better, it was the issue that featured Paul Strand. It was a beautiful thing to behold and I often wonder where it is now.

  8. Visited the Ghost Ranch and hiked up to Chimney Rock last spring. In the footsteps of Georgia and Alfred... No wonder they were artistically inspired - such visual beauty and wonder - and in the breeze atop the mesa were the whispers of ghosts...

  9. I really like this. Such interesting photography.

  10. I studied Alfred Stieglitz in photojournalism classes in college. My results were presented in a class lecture that included slides that were copies of his photographs, many from Camera Works. The affection I have for his work began then in 1977 and continues today for him, the many other fine photographers, painters, writers, and of course Georgia O'Keefe. Just the few examples printed with todays article reignite the thrill of rediscovery of the wonderful works of these artists. See how well they capture mood, like the Steichen Flatiron; you can almost hear the clipclop of the horses echoing across the square. And the portrait of Coburn, who was a fine photographer himself, expresses pensive emotions; this is not just a snapshot. How about the Steerage by Steiglitz himself; we can hear the bustle and hum of the crowd as we think of the lives crisscrossing on the ship. Marvelous compositions all, even the simple White Sail pulls your eyes around and around again with interest, as the horizonline is high and the water reflection shimmers. Excellent art indeed.

  11. While in Vienna in 1975, I purchased a copy of Camera Work that I treasure. It is probably the Tashen edition, but non the less, it is priceless to me. I look forward to seeing more of these remarkable prints.

  12. Why limit the distribution to those who can afford $1200 rather than find a publisher (Steidl!?) to do it right and for all to enjoy?

  13. Ah, the aura of old photographs. Stieglitz was a master at the mysterious. Thanks for sharing this article about a very worthwhile effort to make the facsimile of Camera Work available. A labor of love.

  14. So far, Mr. Vreyen has sold four copies out of the 15 he printed, including one to the Museum of Modern Art. His asking price is $1,200 with a 10 percent discount for institutions. " LONG CLIMB FOR A SHORT SLIDE. seems he is selling the set cheaper that the cost of an original issue. What's that all about? People are collecting selfies now. Stieglitz--NOTSOMUCH.

  15. If you enjoyed this wonderful piece you might also like The Realist, a recent historical novel about Bernice Abbott, one of Stieglitz's rivals. Written with a feminist sensibility by Sarah Coleman it brings the history of women in photography into focus.

  16. The journalist wrote with exquisite sensitiveness on this subject, one she very obviously loves and honors.

  17. Thank you, George.

  18. In the early 1970's I studied fine art photography at RIT in Rochester. I had a professor named Allan Klotz who was a Stieglitz scholar and who taught photo appreciation. He referred often to Camera Work. It was a revelation that has informed my photography estetic ever since. I think of him often, the knowledge that he imparted to me, informed a 30+ year career in the motion picture business.