Edward Steichen

6. 2. — 30. 3. 2003
The Supreme Burgrave´s House of Prague Castle

Edward Steichen was born on 27th March 1879 in Bivange near Berchem in Luxembourg. In 1881 his family came to the USA and settled in Hancock (Michigan). In 1889 they moved to Milwaukee (Wisconsin). Here, in 1895, he began to photograph. His photographs received their first public showing at the Second Philadelphia Salon in 1899. At the beginning of the century he moved to Paris, where he met the members of the Avant-garde. He was attracted not only by photography, but also by painting.

He definitely decided for photography after World War I. In the meantime he met Alfred Stiegliz and started to cooperate with him. Both of them significantly influenced the view on modern art in the United States. Between the years 1917-1919 he became a commander of the photographic division of the US. Army Expeditionary Forces in France and became acquainted with aerial photography. In the same position he served also in the Navy in the Pacific. Between two world wars he became a chief photographer for Condé Nast Publications, publishing regularly in the magazines Vogue and Vanity Fair. Thus he became the most respected portrait photographer in the United States. From 1947 to 1962 he was a director of the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He did no photographic work of his own during these years, but he was responsible for nearly 50 exhibitions including The Family of Man (which was presented in 40 countries and visited by 10 million people and which became the most popular exhibition in the history of photography).


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