Edward Steichen - Photographs New York Tuesday, October 2, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    From the Collection of Joanna Steichen

  • Catalogue Essay

    Edward Steichen made this alluring portrait of his second wife during a year of major life changes for the artist. 1923 was not only the beginning of a romantic relationship with Dana Desboro Glover, soon to be Dana Steichen, it also was the year he abandoned painting for photography, and moved from Paris to New York to become a highly paid, world-famous commercial portrait and fashion photographer signing contracts with both Condé Nast and J. Thompson advertising agency.

    Steichen spent the early years of the twentieth century with his first wife Clara while pursuing parallel careers as an art photographer and painter. In 1923, at the age of 43, after an expensive divorce and burning all the paintings that remained in his possession, Steichen left France for New York City to start anew. It was in New York that he met Dana Glover, an aspiring actress, fell in love and later that year married her. They would remain together until her death in 1957.

    In love and invigorated by his life changes, Steichen did a wonderful series of portraits of Dana, his beautiful new wife. In the present lot, he moves in close with his camera so that she fills, but not overwhelms, the boarders of the print. It is so intimately taken, that we, as viewers, experience the charm of her presence. At the same time Steichen, the artist, lets the diagonal of her hat cut across the picture frame - protecting his love from complete exposure of her feminine mystery.


Dana Steichen

circa 1923
Palladium print.
7 5/8 x 9 5/8 in. (19.4 x 24.4 cm)

$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $50,000

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs
+ 1 212 940 1245


2 October 2012
New York