Key Set Entry
Little is known about the circumstances under which Stieglitz and Edward Steichen made this photograph, but the inscribed date is probably incorrect because Stieglitz, Steichen, and Marin were not together in either New York or Paris in 1911. The three artists were in New York from January to April of 1910: Steichen for his two concurrent shows of paintings and photographs at the Montross Gallery, and Autochromes at 291; Marin for his first one-person show at 291, which immediately followed Steichen’s in February 1910. Both Marin and Steichen also participated in “The Younger American Painters” exhibition at 291 in March.
Stieglitz met John Marin in June 1909, although he had exhibited the young artist’s work at 291 in April 1908. At their first meeting Stieglitz praised Marin’s most recent modernist experiments and encouraged him to explore new ideas by promising to exhibit any work Marin might produce. For more than thirty-five years, Stieglitz regularly fulfilled this promise. Although they had very different personalities—Marin was boyish, with a laconic sense of humor; Stieglitz was serious and sharp-witted—the two were very close. Their relationship was one of “mutual admiration,” one critic wrote in 1926, “expressed by silent loyalty on the part of the noncommunicative Marin,” but “widely heralded by Mr. Stieglitz, who seems never to feel happier than when praising the genius of Marin” (Forbes Watson, “New York Exhibitions,” The Arts 10, December 1926, 347).
A corresponding print was given to the following institution(s) by Alfred Stieglitz during his lifetime, or was received or acquired from the estate:
The Art Institute of Chicago, 1949.712
Library of Congress, Washington, PH-16 B (inscribed: John Marin 1911 / Photo by Stieglitz & Steichen / Print by AS)
by Alfred Stieglitz, on mount, center verso, in graphite: 1911
by Georgia O'Keeffe, on mount, lower left verso, in graphite: 34 B
by later hand, on mount, upper left verso, in graphite: 1
Georgia O'Keeffe; gift to NGA, 1949.
- Alfred Stieglitz: Known and Unknown, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, June 2–September 2, 2002; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, October 6, 2002–January 5, 2003
- A Subtle Beauty: Platinum Photographs from the Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 2014–2015
- Fine, Ruth E. John Marin. Washington, 1990: 9, pl. 2.
- Greenough, Sarah. Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection of Photographs. Washington, 2002: vol. 1, cat. 329.