The Steerage

A work made of gelatin silver print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.

Date:

1907, printed 1920/39

Artist:

Alfred Stieglitz
American, 1864–1946

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.

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Photography

Artist

Alfred Stieglitz

Title

The Steerage

Origin

United States

Date

1907

Medium

Gelatin silver print

Inscriptions

Unmarked recto; inscribed verso, on second mount, lower left, in graphite: "125D"

Dimensions

11 × 9.2 cm (image/paper/first mount); 31.7 × 24.7 cm (second mount)

Credit Line

Alfred Stieglitz Collection

Reference Number

1949.705

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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