Alfred Stieglitz the Man of Georgia's Life
Alfred Stieglitz was born January 1, 1864 in Hoboken, New Jersey. He would become one of the most influential photographers and instrumental men to bring modern art to America.
Stieglitz studied engineering and photography in Berlin. When he returned to the US, he was determined to introduce photography as an art form within itself. In 1902, he formed an organization of photographers called the "American Pictorial Photography Arranged by the 'Photo-Secessions' ". They were all committed to establishing photos as art. In 1905, he opened "Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession" at 291 Fifth Avenue later to be known as (Gallery 291).
Stieglitz's first encounter with O'Keeffe came by way of charcoal drawings given to him by Anita Pollitzer which he quickly displayed without O'Keeffe's permission. After a confrontation, he convinced her to keep them on display. At their first meeting, Alfred was 23 years older than Georgia and he was also a married man. A short time later, he convinced O'Keeffe to move to New York permanently. He had feelings for Georgia and although he was still married at the time, decided to pursue them. After living together for about six years, Stieglitz divorced his wife of 31 years and asked Georgia to marry him. Reluctant at first, they finally married December 11, 1924. Alfred was 60 years old and Georgia was 37.
Stieglitz was O'Keeffe's biggest supporter and at the time, buying an "O'Keeffe" was not only expensive but tricky. The buyer had to meet the standards set by Stieglitz. O'Keeffe's large flower paintings were first displayed in 1925 and three years later, a painting of a calla lily would sell for $25,000, garnering the attention of the media. They would move to the thirtieth floor of the Shelton Hotel in New York where they resided until 1937.
Alfred and Georgia had been married 22 years when he died of a stroke July 13, 1946. He was 82. It would take Georgia two to three years to settle his New York estate after which she moved to New Mexico.
Read more about the famous partnership of Alfred Stieglitz & Georgia O’Keeffe.
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