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PROPERTY OF VARIOUS OWNERS

Edward Steichen
1879-1973
'IRIS AUREA: LIGHT RUNS UP THE STEM LIKE LIGHTNING'
Estimate
50,00080,000
LOT SOLD. 79,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
31

PROPERTY OF VARIOUS OWNERS

Edward Steichen
1879-1973
'IRIS AUREA: LIGHT RUNS UP THE STEM LIKE LIGHTNING'
Estimate
50,00080,000
LOT SOLD. 79,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Photographs

|
New York

Edward Steichen
1879-1973
1879-1973
'IRIS AUREA: LIGHT RUNS UP THE STEM LIKE LIGHTNING'
warm-toned, titled 'Iris Aurea' and annotated 'flag' by the photographer and inscribed 'lgt runs up t stems lk lhgtng [light runs up the stems like lightning]' by Carl Sandburg in pencil and with the photographer's '80 West 40th Street, New York' studio stamp on the reverse, matted, framed, 1920s
9 5/8 by 7 5/8 in. (24.4 by 19.4 cm.)
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Provenance

Sotheby's New York, 12 October 2000, Sale 7518, Lot 159

Acquired by Michael Shapiro Gallery, San Francisco from the above

Acquired by the present owner from the above, 2000

Catalogue Note

This picture may have been intended as an illustration for the 1929 Harcourt, Brace volume Steichen the Photographer, written by Steichen's brother-in-law, Carl Sandburg.  In 1908 Sandburg married Steichen's sister Lilian and the two became close friends and collaborators, a relationship that ended only with Sandburg's death in 1967.  In his text for the volume, Sandburg records a conversation in which he questions Steichen about certain flower photographs:

"'What is this?' [Steichen] is asked about a print. 'That is a delphinium and iris aurea contrasting the sneak of light up the iris with the soft woolly delphinium; it is just a pictorial contrast of texture, height and shape.'

"'And this?' 'Foliage of hermerocalis or day lily.'

"And this?' 'Common flag and iris aurea--the light runs up the stems like lightning'" (Steichen the Photographer, pp. 56-59).  This last line, Steichen's own, is quoted by Sandburg on the reverse of the present image. 

Another print of this image is owned by a descendant of Edward Steichen.

Photographs

|
New York