291 and the American avant garde

This New York gallery led by Alfred Stieglitz was at the forefront of modernist painting and photography in the United States.

1908 - 1917

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291—Little Galleries of the Photo Secession
291—Little Galleries of the Photo Secession

If you walked into this art gallery you would likely have been quite surprised.

Marsden Hartley, <em>Portrait of a German Officer</em>
Marsden Hartley, Portrait of a German Officer

Does a portrait need to be an accurate visual representation of the subject?

Georgia O’Keeffe, <em>The Lawrence Tree</em>
Georgia O’Keeffe, The Lawrence Tree

Confused by this painting? Imagine lying on the grass under a tree and looking up.

Charles Demuth, <em>I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold</em>
Charles Demuth, I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold

Knowledge of the poem “The Great Figure” by William Carlos Williams is critical for decoding this painting.

Alfred Stieglitz, <em>The Steerage</em>
Alfred Stieglitz, The Steerage

Though this photograph could be seen as a searing social commentary, its maker preferred to view it as fine art.

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