About this artwork
Alfred Stieglitz shot this photograph in 1907, during a voyage by ocean liner to Europe; it was years, however, before he and others in his circle came to recognize it as a defining work of modernism, showing that photography could transcend its ostensible subject to depict deeper emotions. He later described the moment when, desperate to escape the stuffy upper classes, he looked down to the steerage level: “I saw shapes related to each other. I saw a picture of shapes and underlying that the feeling I had about life.”
For more on the Alfred Stieglitz collection at the Art Institute, along with in-depth object information, please visit the website: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection.
- Currently Off View
- Photography and Media
- Alfred Stieglitz
- The Steerage
- Made 1907
- Gelatin silver print
- Unmarked recto; inscribed verso, on second mount, lower left, in graphite: "125D"
- 11 × 9.2 cm (image/paper/first mount); 31.7 × 24.7 cm (second mount)
- Alfred Stieglitz Collection