[ A photograph in black and white of an urban building with two fire escapes oriented vertically. There is a ladder connecting the two at the left of the escape. The lower window can be seen angled above and with a full window shown. The higher fire escape is seen from slightly above. The higher window is framed to show a portion of the bottom of the window. Shadows are seen to the right half of the image. ]

Edward Steichen

Laughing Boxes: W 86th Street, New York from Steichen: Twenty-five Photographs , circa 1922

Artwork Type: Photographs
Medium: Gelatin silver print
Dimensions: 9 x 7 in. (22.86 x 17.78 cm)
Accession #: 19931098H
Credit: Collection of University Art Museum, University at Albany, State University of New York on behalf of The University at Albany Foundation , Gift of Stephen and Linda Singer
Related Exhibitions:
Regarding Place: Photographs From The University Art Collections
Near & Far: Six Photography Portfolios from the University at Albany Fine Art Collections
Object Label:

American, born Luxembourg, 1879, died 1973 


Edward Steichen is considered one of the twentieth century’s preeminent photographers. A major Pictorialist and member of the Photo Secession, Steichen was instrumental in promoting photography as an art form during the early years of the last century. He later incorporated the influences of Modernist geometric abstraction into his work, gradually abandoning Pictorialism in favor of straight photography with a strong sense of design and clean, uncluttered images and compositions. 

During a career that spanned nearly seven decades, Steichen became a leading figure in the fields of celebrity portraiture, fashion, aerial photography (in both World Wars), and industrial design. He worked as a commercial photographer during the 1920s and 30s for such publications as Vogue and Vanity Fair, and was the founding director of the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York from 1947 to 1962. In 1955 he organized the museum’s famous Family of Man exhibition, which brought together the work of photographers from sixty-eight countries.
Regarding Place: Photographs From The University Art Collections

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