Edward Weston, Elbow, Gelatin Silver Print 1935
EDWARD WESTON (1886-1958) USA
Gelatin silver print
Signed: 12-40. Edward Weston 1935 (pencil below photo)
Framed H: 17” x W: 14 9/16”
Edward Henry Weston was an American photographer, and co-founder of Group f/64. Most of his work was done using an 8 by 10 inch view camera. Weston was renowned as one of the masters of 20th century photography. His legacy includes several thousand carefully composed, superbly printed photographs that have influenced photographers around the world for 60 years. Photographing natural landscapes and forms such as artichoke, shells, and rocks, using large-format cameras and available light. The subtle use of tones and the sculptural formal design of his works have become the standards by which much later photographic practice has been judged.
Ansel Adams has written: “Weston is, in the real sense, one of the few creative artists of today. He has recreated the matter-forms and forces of nature; he has made these forms eloquent of the fundamental unity of the world. His work illuminates man’s inner journey toward perfection of the spirit.”
Edward Weston, Elbow, Gelatin Silver Print 1935
LUCIEN LELONG (1889 – 1958) Paris, France
“Metaphysical” vase c. 1935
Hand painted and glazed porcelain with aqua, black and silver tones.
Marks: LL monogram, AB
H: 13 3/4″
Lucien Lelong was born in Paris, France on October 11, 1889. Lucien learned his trade from his father, Arthur Lelong, who owned a textile factory in 1896, and his mother Eleanore, a dressmaker. He discovered his vocation in the family business and as soon as World War I was over, he expanded the family business by creating his own fashion house in the late 1918.
He became immediately famous due to the neat tailoring of his designs and his skill in choosing and manufacturing fabrics. He did not actually create his own designs but hired the most prominent designers of the moment to design his collections such as Christian Dior, Pierre Balmain and Hubert Givenchy. Lelong was one of the first designers to diversify into lingerie and stockings. He introduced a line of ready-to-wear in 1934 which he labeled “editions.” In 1939, Lelong’s collections showed tightly waisted, full skirts; a style which became the “new Look” in Dior’s collection in 1947. After the war, in 1947, Lelong showed pencil-slim dresses; pleated, tiered, harem hemlines; and suits with wasp waists, cutaway fronts and square shoulders.
After a trip to the United States where he learned everything pertaining to the working methods in the mass production of clothes, he returns to France and creates a line of pret-a-porter (ready-to-wear) collection, branded “LL” Edition. Lelong used his double” LL” logo to influence his designs as well as refining the packaging design of his perfumes and cosmetics. He was a master of the use of knits and bias to shape the body in the most complementary way. His house’s trademark was their unique ability in designing with fur.
He was married to Natalie Paley who was the daughter of the Grand Duke Paul of Russia that assisted him with his business. Lelong was an active member of high society; socialized with the women he dressed, and did not miss the opportunity to capitalize on his name. From 1937 until the end of the war in 1948, Lelong was President of the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne, in which role he was able to fight and hinder the transfer of the Parisian fashion houses to Berlin during the German occupation. It was largely due to his efforts that ninety-two houses stayed opened during the war.
Poor health caused the end of his career; Lelong retired in 1952, and died in 1958 of a heart attack.
ALFRED STIEGLITZ (1864-1946) USA
Old & New, New York 1910
Photogravure from Camera Work, Oak frame in the Arts & Crafts style
Signed: Alfred Stieglitz Old & New, New York, RMG #1081.30 (all in pencil on back)
Image: H: 8” x W: 6 1/4”
Page size: H: 11” x W: 7 7/8”
Framed: H: 15 ¼” x 11 ¼”
Alfred Stieglitz was an American photographer who was instrumental over his fifty-year career in making photography an acceptable art form alongside painting and sculpture. Many of his photographs are known for appearing like those other art forms, and he is also known for his marriage to painter Georgia O’Keeffe, most famous for her large-scale paintings of flowers.
Stieglitz was born the eldest of six children in Hoboken, New Jersey and raised in a brownstone on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. His father moved with his family to Germany in 1881. The next year, Stieglitz began studying mechanical engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin and soon switched to photography. Traveling through the European countryside with his camera, he took many photographs of peasants working on the Dutch seacoast and undisturbed nature within Germany’s Black Forest and won prizes and attention throughout Europe in the 1880s.
From 1893 to 1896, Stieglitz was editor of American Amateur Photographer magazine; however, his editorial style proved to be brusque, autocratic and alienating to many subscribers. After being forced to resign, Stieglitz turned to the New York Camera Club (which was later renamed The Camera Club of New York and is in existence to this day) and retooled its newsletter into a serious art periodical known as Camera Notes. He announced that every published image would be a picture, not a photograph – a statement that allowed Stieglitz to determine which was which.
Big camera clubs that were the vogue in America at the time did not satisfy him; in 1902 he organized an invitation-only group, which he dubbed the Photo-Secession, to force the art world to recognize photography “as a distinctive medium of individual expression.” Among its members were Edward Steichen, Gertrude Käsebier, Clarence H. White and Alvin Langdon Coburn. Also in 1902 he ceased being editor of Camera Notes and in 1903 started a new independent journal of his own, Camera Work. Photo-Secession held its own exhibitions and its work was published Camera Work, which became the pre-eminent quarterly photographic journal of its day, although in later years its popularity declined markedly and it ceased publication in 1917.
From 1905 to 1917, Stieglitz managed the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession at 291 Fifth Avenue (which came to be known as 291). In 1910, Stieglitz was invited to organize a show at Buffalo’s Albright Art Gallery, which set attendance records. He was insistent that “photographs look like photographs,” so that the medium of photography would be considered with its own aesthetic credo and so separate photography from other fine arts such as painting, thus defining photography as a fine art for the first time. This approach by Stieglitz to photography gained the term “straight photography” in contrast to other forms of photography such as “pictorial photography” which practiced manipulation of the image pre and/or post exposure.
In the 1930s, Stieglitz presided over two non-commercial New York City galleries, The Intimate Gallery and An American Place. It was at An American Place that he formed his friendship with the great 20th century photographer Ansel Adams. Adams displayed many prints in Stieglitz’s gallery, corresponded with him and also photographed Stieglitz on occasion. Stieglitz was a great philanthropist and sympathizer with his fellow human beings. He once received a phone call on one of Adams’s visits. A man wanted to show Stieglitz some work. He invited him over, looked at the prints, looked at the man in a rather disheveled state of affairs and looked at the work again. He then offered to buy one of the paintings, wrote him a check for $150, gave him five dollars and told him to get something good to eat.