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ALFRED STIEGLITZ
[1864 – 1946] American artist photographer and editor
It is not art in the professionalized sense about which I care, but that which is created sacredly, as a result of a deep inner experience, with all of oneself, and that becomes 'art' in time. - Alfred Stieglitz

I do not object to retouching, dodging. or accentuation as long as they do not interfere with the natural qualities of photographic technique. - Alfred Stieglitz

In photography there is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality. - Alfred Stieglitz

I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. - Alfred Stieglitz

Wherever there is light, one can photograph. - Alfred Stieglitz

...the goal of art was the vital expression of self. - Alfred Stieglitz

The arts equally have distinct departments, and unless photography has its own possibilities of expression, separate from those of the other arts, it is merely a process, not an art; but granted that it is an art, reliance should be placed unreservedly upon those possibilities, that they may be made to yield the fullest results. - Alfred Stieglitz - National Gallery of Art, Callaway Editions 1983; about the Romantic-Impressionist school of photography. 1901 , Alfred Stieglitz : Photographs & Writings by Alfred Stieglitz (Photographer), Sarah Greenough, Juan Hamilton, Georgia O'Keeffe , ISBN: 0821225634
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Let me here call attention to one of the most universally popular mistakes that have to do with photography - that of classing supposedly excellent work as professional, and using the term amateur to convey the idea of immature productions and to excuse atrociously poor photographs. As a matter of fact nearly all the greatest work is being, and has always been done, by those who are following photography for the love of it, and not merely for financial reasons. As the name implies, an amateur is one who works for love; and viewed in this light the incorrectness of the popular classification is readily apparent. - Alfred Stieglitz - in 1899

Photography is my passion. - Alfred Stieglitz

The camera was waiting for me by predestination and I took to it as a musician takes to the piano or a painter to canvas. I found that I was master of the elements, that I could work miracles. - Alfred Stieglitz

His [Strand] vision is potential. His work is pure. It does not rely on tricks of process. In the history of photography there are but few photographers, who from the point of view of expression, have really done work of any importance. And by importance we mean work that has some relatively lasting quality, that element which gives all art itself real signifiance. - Alfred Stieglitz - in 1916, Sixty Years of Photographs by Paul Strand, Calvin Tomkins , ISBN: 0900406828
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Standing up here on the hill away from all humans - seeing these Wonders taking place before one's eyes-so silently-it is queer to feel that beyond the hills there are Humans astir-&- just the reverse of what one feels in watching the silence of Nature. -No school-no church-is as good a teacher as the eye understandingly seeing what's before it-I believe this more firmly than ever. - Alfred Stieglitz - he wrote to a friend in 1920.

The ability to make a truly artistic photograph is not acquired off-hand, but is the result of an artistic instinct coupled with years of labor. - Alfred Stieglitz

Photography my passion, the search for truth, my obsession. - Alfred Stieglitz

Alfread Stieglitz was once asked: "how does a photographer learn?" He answered without even a second’s hesitation: "By looking". - Alfred Stieglitz - “The Best of Popular Photography”, page 60, The Best of Popular Photography by Harvey V. Fondiller , ISBN: 0871650371 , Page: 60
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The writer does not approve of complicated mechanisms, as they are sure to get out of order at important moments, thus causing considerable unnecessary swearing, and often the loss of a precious opportunity. My own camera is of the simplest pattern and has never left me in the lurch, although it has had some very tough handling... - Alfred Stieglitz - "The Hand Camera" (1897)

A shutter working at a speed of one-fourth to one-twenty-fifth of a second will answer all purposes. A little blur in a moving subject will often aid to giving the impression of action and motion. - Alfred Stieglitz - "The Hand Camera" (1897)

In order to obtain pictures by means of the hand camera it is well to choose your subject, regardless of figures, and carefully study the lines and lighting. After having determined upon these watch the passing figures and await the moment in which everything is in balance; that is, satisfied your eye. This often means hours of patient waiting. My picture, "Fifth Avenue, Winter" is the result of a three hours' stand during a fierce snow-storm on February 22nd 1893, awaiting the proper moment. My patience was duly rewarded. Of course, the result contained an element of chance, as I might have stood there for hours without succeeding in getting the desired pictures. - Alfred Stieglitz - "The Hand Camera" (1897)

Photography as a fad is well-nigh on its last legs, thanks principally to the bicycle craze. - Alfred Stieglitz - in 1897.

There are many schools of painting. Why should there not be many schools of photographic art? There is hardly a right and a wrong in these matters, but there is truth, and that should form the basis of all works of art. - Alfred Stieglitz - American Amateur Photographer, 1893

(Stieglitz accused Mortimer of being responsible, along with others, for "a perilous situation" in photography) As I hold the future well-being of photography very dear I must see to it that these forces which militate against it be opposed and destroyed. - Alfred Stieglitz - Alfred Stieglitz "Photo-Secessionism and its Opponents, Another Letter – The Sixth", New York, 20 October 1910, p. 8] (cited in: "Pictorial Photography in Britain 1900 – 1920", exhibition catalogue, Arts Council of Great Britain in association with The Royal Photographic Society, London 1978, p. 12)

My ideal is to achieve the ability to produce numberless prints from each negative, prints all significantly alive, yet indistinguishably alike, and to be able to circulate them at a price not higher than that of a popular magazine, or even a daily paper. To gain that ability there has been no choice but to follow the road I have chosen. - Alfred Stieglitz - from Exhibition Catalogue, Anderson Galleries, New York 1921 [ Alfred Stieglitz "bilder i Camera Work", Ikaros Forlag, Oslo 1977, back cover]

I was born in Hoboken. I am an American. Photography is my Passion. The Search for Truth is my Obsession. - Alfred Stieglitz - from Exhibition Catalogue, Anderson Galleries, New York 1921 [ Alfred Stieglitz "bilder i Camera Work", Ikaros Forlag, Oslo 1977, back cover]

...[only] evidence of induviduality and artistic worth...will find recognition in there pages. - Alfred Stieglitz

I have all but killed myself for Photography. My passion for it is greater than ever. It's forty years that I have fought its fight - and I'll fight to the finish - single handed & without money if need be. It is not photographs - it is not photographers - I am fighting for. And my own photographs I never sign. I am not fighting to make a 'name' for myself. Maybe you have some feeling for what the fight is for. It's a world's fight. This sounds mad. But so is Camera Work mad. All that's born of spirit seems mad in these [days] of materialism run riot. - Alfred Stieglitz - Alfred Stieglitz to J. Dudley Johnston, 15 October 1923

Of course, this is not Art, but we would like to paint the way you photograph." His [Stielglitz's] reply was, "I dont know anything about Art, but for some reason or other I have never wanted to photograph the way you paint. - Alfred Stieglitz - This documents a short conversation between Stieglitz and some painters from Germany - when Alf was a student.

Photographers must learn not to be ashamed to have their photographs look like photographs. A smudge in “gum” has less value from an aesthetic point of view that an ordinary tintype. - Alfred Stieglitz - in Photo-Miniature no. 124 (March 1913) Cited in "The History of Photography" by Beaumont Newhall, The Museum of Modern Art, New York 1964, p. 109.

For that is the power of the camera: seize the familiar and give it new meanings, a special significance by the mark of a personality. - Alfred Stieglitz

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