Collection of her daughter, Betsy McManus
Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, 2005
In the 1920s and '30s, Stieglitz spent an increasing amount of time away from New York City at his family’s Lake George home. It was here that he began his series of Equivalents in the early 1920s, as well as the landscapes and nature studies he would concentrate on in the 1930s. John Szarkowski attributes, at least in part, the change in Stieglitz’s post-World War I aesthetic to Lake George (Alfred Stieglitz at Lake George, p. 22). Even in the portraits of O’Keeffe, setting plays a role; Szarkowski notes that the New York City portraits are ‘ideal representations,’ while ‘in the Lake George pictures, even from the beginning, we see the gradual emergence of a subject who serves no fictions but her own’ (ibid., p. 24). O’Keeffe in this image is an active subject, physically and metaphorically constructing her own space, the Shanty.
This Stieglitz photograph is scarce. It is not in the key set of Stieglitz photographs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. C. The print offered here originally belonged to Peggy Davidson, Stieglitz’s grandniece, and descended through her family. It is likely the same print that is reproduced in Sue Davidson Lowe’s Stieglitz: A Memoir/Biography, where Lowe, Peggy Davidson’s sister, recounts the shingling of the Shanty.
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