To their descendants
Christie’s New York, 4 October 1994, Sale 7958, Lot 9
Doris Bry, Exhibition of Photographs by Alfred Stieglitz (National Gallery of Art, 1958), pl. 3
Dorothy Norman, Alfred Stieglitz: An American Seer (New York, 1960), pl. XXVII
Mike Weaver, ed., The Art of Photography, 1839-1989 (Yale University Press, 1989), pl. 200
In Focus: Alfred Stieglitz (J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995), pl. 15
In a letter of 14 December 1917, Stieglitz described to Georgia O’Keeffe a visit he’d had with Charles Sheeler the day before. ‘He is always fine,’ Stieglitz wrote. ‘Wears splendidly. I am to have three of his wonderful photographs in exchange . . . ’ As Sarah Greenough recounts, the photographers, in the end, exchanged four photographs each: Sheeler gave Stieglitz four of his Doylestown interiors, and Stieglitz gave Sheeler two prints of the galleries at ‘291,’ a view from the back window there, and a print of the image offered here. ‘It’s hellish hard work for me to get what I want—& I don’t want to give him a print which isn’t A1 + + — A 1 plus plus —,’ Stieglitz continued in the letter. Sheeler’s print of the present photograph is now in The Museum of Modern Art, a gift from Sheeler in 1941 (Greenough, Letters, Vol. 1, p. 221 and fn450).
The present photograph was acquired directly from Stieglitz by Charles and Aline Liebman. Aline Meyer Liebman, a photographer herself and an active patron of the arts, was the sister of wealthy banker Eugene Meyer, Jr., whose wife Agnes helped underwrite Stieglitz’s avant-garde periodical ‘291.’
In Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set, Sarah Greenough locates only four prints of this image, aside from that offered here, in the collections of the following institutions: the National Gallery of Art; Sheeler's print at The Museum of Modern Art; the Art Institute of Chicago; and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Another print was sold by Leland Little Auction and Estate Sales in 2012.
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