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Sarah Greenough, “Alfred Stieglitz/The Garden of Love (Improvisation Number 27) by Wassily Kandinsky/1913,” Alfred Stieglitz Key Set, NGA Online Editions, (accessed June 20, 2019).


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Key Set Entry


Stieglitz bought this painting (oil on canvas, 1912, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) on 8 March 1913 for $500. It was the first work by Kandinsky exhibited in the United States, and his only painting to be included in the Armory Show in 1913. On learning that his painting had been purchased, Kandinsky wrote Stieglitz asking if he could photograph it so that it could be included in the forthcoming book Kandinsky 1901–1913 (Der Sturm) (Berlin, 1913) (Kandinsky to Stieglitz, 26 April 1913, YCAL).

Stieglitz, who had published an excerpt from Kandinsky’s “On the Spiritual in Art” in Camera Work 39 (July 1912), 34, explained his decision to purchase this painting in his response to the artist: “I really had no moral right, nor even the money to buy your picture. I was so incensed at the stupidity of the people who visited the Exhibition, and also more than incen[sed] at the stupidity of most of those in charge of the Exhibition, in not realizing the importance of your picture that I decided to buy it. Thus I knew I might influence the people to look at the picture, which I thought of importance to themselves” (26 May 1913, YCAL).

Lifetime Publications

A reproduction of this work appeared in the following publication(s) during Alfred Stieglitz’s lifetime:

Kandinsky 1901–1913 (Der Sturm) (Berlin, 1913): 67


by Georgia O'Keeffe, on mount, lower left verso, in graphite: 94 B


Georgia O'Keeffe; gift to NGA, 1949.

Greenough, Sarah. Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection of Photographs. Washington, 2002: vol. 1, cat. 380.
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