About this artwork
Trained as a social documentarian, Paul Strand visited Alfred Stieglitz’s Photo-Secession gallery at the age of 17 and immediately decided to become an art photographer. Over the next few years, Strand took his pictures to Stieglitz for criticism, absorbing from him the belief that photography’s unique power lay in its ability to present a range of tones and detail beyond the skill of human hands. Breaking from the painterly style then in vogue, the younger artist instead championed (as he wrote in 1917) the camera’s “unqualified objectivity,” creating pictures “without tricks of process or manipulation.” Strand dispensed with soft focus, choosing to emphasize the unified composition of shadow and light over subject matter. The final issue of Stieglitz’s art magazine Camera Work was dedicated to Strand’s sharply detailed images, heralding a new style that would influence photographers throughout the century.
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
- Paul Strand
- Frame Building
- United States
- Made 1916
- Platinum print
- Inscribed recto, on hinged paper, upper right, above image, in graphite: "[checkmark]"; recto, on hinged paper, lower right, right of image, in graphite: "1 - [?]"; signed and inscribed recto, on hinged paper, lower right, below image, in graphite: "Paul Strand - 1916- [?]"; inscribed recto, on hinged paper, lower right, in graphite: "T [?]"; recto, on hinged paper, lower right, in graphite: "7-1944-368"; verso unmarked
- 31.5 × 26 cm (image); 32.2 × 26.6 cm (paper); 40 × 31 cm (hinged paper)
- Alfred Stieglitz Collection
- © Paul Strand Archive/Aperture Foundation