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Sarah Greenough, “Alfred Stieglitz/From the Back-Window—291—Building in Construction/1916,” Alfred Stieglitz Key Set, NGA Online Editions, (accessed July 12, 2020).


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Key Set Entry

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“I have done quite some photography recently. It is intensely direct. Portraits, Buildings from my back window at 291, a whole series of them, a few landscapes and interiors. All interrelated. I know nothing outside of [David Octavius] Hill’s work which I think is so direct, and quite so intensely honest. It is all 8 × 10 work. All platinum prints. Not a trace of hand work on either negative or prints. No diffused focus. Just the straight goods. On some things the lens stopped down to 128. But everything simplified in spite of endless detail” (Stieglitz to R. Child Bayley, 1 November 1916 [YCAL]).

The building under construction is 136 Madison Avenue, at the northwest corner of Madison and 31st Street.

Lifetime Exhibitions

A print from the same negative—perhaps a photograph from the Gallery’s collection—appeared in the following exhibition(s) during Alfred Stieglitz’s lifetime:

1921, New York (no. 52, as Building in Construction, 1915, from the series “From the Back-Window—291”)


by Georgia O'Keeffe, on mount, upper left verso, in graphite: 13 B


Georgia O'Keeffe; gift to NGA, 1949.

Associated Names
O'Keeffe, Georgia
Exhibition History
Photographs by Alfred Stieglitz, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, February 3–May 8, 1983; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, June 17–August 14, 1983; The Art Institute of Chicago, October 18, 1983–January 3, 1984
Greenough, Sarah, and Juan Hamilton. Alfred Stieglitz: Photographs and Writings. Washington, 1983: no. 48, pl. 19.
Greenough, Sarah. Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection of Photographs. Washington, 2002: vol. 1, cat. 426.
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