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Sarah Greenough, “Alfred Stieglitz/William Zorach/1916,” Alfred Stieglitz Key Set, NGA Online Editions, (accessed May 15, 2021).

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Key Set Entry

Related Key Set Photographs

  • Alfred Stieglitz
    George F. Of
    platinum print
    Key Set Number 432


Although best known as a modernist sculptor, William Zorach began his career as a painter, studying at the National Academy of Design in New York and in France from 1910 to 1911. His paintings were included in both the 1913 Armory Show and the 1916 “Forum Exhibition of Modern American Painters” at the Anderson Galleries. While Stieglitz never exhibited Zorach’s work at 291, the artist remembered his first visit to the gallery (either in 1908 or 1910) as a profoundly moving experience: “I rode up in the tiny elevator and entered the little gallery. The quiet light was full of a soothing mystic feeling and around the room, and on the square under glass in the middle of the room, I looked at what I now know were Matisse drawings. . . . They had no meaning to me as Art as I then knew Art, but the feeling I got from them still clings to me and always will. It was the feeling of a bigger, deeper, more simple and archaic world. I stood long and absorbed ‘291’—the quiet, peaceful little room, the strange and wonderful life revealed to me and the square-faced, bushy-haired man with penetrating eyes that swayed in and swayed out of the doorway. I left feeling I had seen something living, something that would live with me, and that has lived with me” (“291,” Camera Work 47 [July 1914], 38).

In the background of this photograph and Key Set number 432 are two paintings by Marsden Hartley, the one at left unidentified, and at right, The Iron Cross, 1914–1915, oil on canvas (Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Saint Louis), exhibited at 291 from 4 April to 22 May 1916.

Stieglitz Collections

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 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1984.1047.1


by later hand, on mount, lower left verso, in graphite: 30 E


Georgia O'Keeffe; gift to NGA, 1949.

Associated Names
O'Keeffe, Georgia
Greenough, Sarah. Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection of Photographs. Washington, 2002: vol. 1, cat. 431.
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