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The Dancing Trees

A work made of palladium print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of palladium print.




Alfred Stieglitz
American, 1864–1946

About this artwork

A photographer who vigorously promoted the work of modern artists in all media, Alfred Stieglitz spearheaded turn–of–the–century debates on the role of photography as a fine art. Initially, this inquiry led him to promote Pictorialism, a style imitative of painting. By the 1910s, however, he had renounced this painterly mode in favor of “straight photography,” exploring qualities that—so he argued—photography alone possessed. At his summer house on Lake George, in upstate New York, Stieglitz isolated the components of landscape, photographing clouds without any indication of a horizon line and sections of trees separated from the surrounding woods. In The Dancing Trees, the composition produced by the layered and interlaced trunks and branches highlights Stieglitz’s primary aim at this time: “to think more about the relationships in the pictures than subject–matter for its own sake.

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 Dancing Trees


Made 1922


Palladium print


Inscribed recto, on hinged mat, lower left, in graphite: "Treated by Steichen - 2/1950"; recto, on hinged mat, lower center, in graphite: "Alfred Stieglitz"; recto, on hinged mat, lower right, in graphite: "Dancing Trees, 1921 Palladiotype"; recto, on hinged mat, lower right, in graphite: "XRF @ AICon 7/07 (EG)"; inscribed verso, on print, left center, in graphite: "[illegbile]"; verso, on print, center, in graphite: "[illegible] A"; verso, on print, lower right, in graphite: "Ch 23A"; inscribed verso, on hinged mat, lower left, in graphite: "Leica / #23A"


24.3 × 19.5 cm (image) 25.1 × 20.1 cm (paper)

Credit Line

Alfred Stieglitz Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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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 . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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