Alfred Stieglitz - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 11, 2023 | Phillips

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  • This photogravure comes from the collection of John Glasse (1922-2014), a pioneering collector from the early days of the photography market and a Professor of Religion at Vassar College from 1956 to 1990.

    Glasse maintained a lifelong interest in photography. As a teenager in Alaska in the 1930s, he photographed candid scenes of Juneau’s residents and the Alaskan wilderness and worked as a freelance photographer. During his adult years, he continued photographing and experimenting with different formats and techniques. Glasse began collecting as a young adult and continued to build and rotate his collection through the 1980s, focusing on major Twentieth Century photographers. The work of Paul Strand was a particular interest and Glasse curated an exhibition of Strand’s photographs at the Vassar College Art Gallery in 1977. He enjoyed corresponding with the artists in his collection to learn the background story of specific images and to share his appreciation of their work. In several instances he purchased directly from the photographers, in addition to patronizing the first generation of photography galleries in New York City, including Witkin Gallery and LIGHT.

    While Vassar College offered no formal training in photography during Glasse’s tenure, he served as an advisor to students pursuing independent study projects in the medium. In 1977 he said, 'Photography is one of the ways I find myself exploring the world. And by making my own photographs and seeing the work of others, I am exploring the medium itself. In terms of photography qua academic, as a philosopher of religion, I am engaged by the relation between aesthetics and religion. The theology of culture and the philosophy of religion have not been applied to photography. I would like to make a contribution to filling that gap.'

    • Provenance

      Witkin Gallery, New York, 1970
      Collection of John Glasse, Poughkeepsie, New York
      By descent to the present owner

    • Literature

      Camera Work, Number 36, October 1911, p. 39
      Stieglitz, 291, September-October 1915
      Greenough, Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set, Volume One, cat. no. 310
      Bulfinch Press, Alfred Stieglitz, pl. 18
      Margolis, Alfred Stieglitz, Camera Work: A Pictorial Guide, p. 100
      Norman, Alfred Stieglitz: An American Seer, pl. XVI
      The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Alfred Stieglitz: Photographer, pl. 8
      Green, A Critical History of American Photography, p. 195
      Taschen, 20th Century Photography: Museum Ludwig Cologne, p. 673
      Taschen, Photo Icons: The Story Behind the Pictures, Volume 1, p. 135
      Whelan, Alfred Stieglitz: A Biography, Photography, Georgia O'Keeffe, and the Rise of the Avant-Garde in America, n.p.


The Steerage

Large-format photogravure on paper, as issued within 291, Nos. 7-8 (New York, September-October 1915), folio.
12 1/2 x 10 1/8 in. (31.8 x 25.7 cm)

Full Cataloguing

$12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for $27,940

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs


Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 11 October 2023