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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Florine Stettheimer, <em>Portrait of Alfred Stieglitz</em>
Florine Stettheimer, Portrait of Alfred Stieglitz

This portrait gives us a glimpse into the creative circle of Alfred Stieglitz in 1920s New York, with references to Georgia O'Keeffe, Arthur Dove, Henry McBride, and others.

Georgia O’Keeffe, <em>Radiator Building—Night, New York</em>
Georgia O’Keeffe, Radiator Building—Night, New York

O'Keeffe takes on the New York skyline in the 1920s

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.

Selected Contributors