Sunday, 14 October 2007

Major Edward Steichen Exhibition

I have always loved Edward Steichen's work and was fortunate enough to view some of his gum over platinum prints at Photo Paris last year. I will be going to this years Photo Paris which takes place at the Carrousel Du Louvre from 15-18 November. It just so happens this large Exhibition on Steichen's work will be displayed in Paris too at the Jeu de Paume from 10th October to 30 December.

For those that have not heard of him, Edward Steichen was one of the key figures in the history of photography. Beginning as a leading exponent of the 19th-century romantic movement called Pictorialism, where he produced some extraordinary prints, his most famous being Moonrise, printed in 1904, For this print Steichen used unique alternative photographic printing techniques to establish depth and richness of tones. I believe there are only three prints of ‘moonrise’ in existence and they are all printed slightly differently. Below shows one that was a multiple gum over platinum print :

Edward Steichen (1879– 1973): “The Pond-Moonlight” (1904); New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art; multiple gum bichromate over platinum, 15¼ × 19".)

In February last year this print sold for the highest price to date for an art photograph. (This has recently been eclipsed by a Gursky print)

Another version of 'Moonrise' was a cyanotype over platinum print shown below :

(Edward Steichen (1879–1973): “Moonrise-Mamaroneck,New York” (1904); New York, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); platinum, cyanotype, and ferroprussiate print, 15¼ × 19".)

After Steichen's Pictorialism phase he metamorphosed rapidly into one of the leading photographers of modernism. For more than half a century he occupied centre stage as the most famous living photographer, the medium’s first household name. However, until now Steichen, a Luxembourger by birth has never been the subject of a significant retrospective in Europe. This show will have around 450 vintage prints and I can’t wait to view them. I will write a short review when i return from Paris.

For further information on the Paris exhibition visit :

This exhibition will move to other European Venues including:

Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne January 17-March 23, 2008

Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia April 12-June 8, 2008

Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid June 24-September 22, 2008

1 comment:

Benjamin Reed said...

I just finished reading your blog from top to bottom! And now I believe I'll be coming back over and over to read your newest posts. Thank you.