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