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Sarah Greenough, “Alfred Stieglitz/Hodge Kirnon/1917,” Alfred Stieglitz Key Set, NGA Online Editions, (accessed February 29, 2024).

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Key Set Entry

Related Key Set Photographs

  • Alfred Stieglitz
    Hodge Kirnon
    silver-platinum print
    Key Set Number 464


The elevator operator at 291 Fifth Avenue from 1912 to 1917, Hodge Kirnon contributed to the special issue of Camera Work devoted to the question “What Is 291?” He wrote: “It would be sheer impertinence to encourage the idea that words are efficient to convey all that I gleaned from ‘291.’ I well remember how baffled and perplexed I became when I first saw the exhibitions there. I would see nothing inviting or attractive in paintings so devoid of ‘beauty,’ yet judging from the conversations and controversies which were hourly occurrences, I grew convinced that ‘291’ had a potent meaning and a mission which I did not comprehend. . . . I have found in ‘291’ a spirit which fosters liberty, defines no methods, never pretends to know, never condemns, but always encourages those who are daring enough to be intrepid; those who feel a just repugnance towards the ideals and standards established by conventionalism” (Camera Work 47 [July 1914], 16).

“Did I tell you I made a wonderful portrait of Hodge—a new one—& a wonder of Zoler—two of the finest things I’ve done—” Stieglitz to Marie Rapp, 23 July 1917 (YCAL).

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, 49.55.38

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:

possibly 1921, New York (no. 44, as Hodge, 1917)


by Georgia O'Keeffe, on mount, lower left, in graphite: Treated by Steichen

by later hand, on mount, lower left verso, in graphite: 84 E


Georgia O'Keeffe; gift to NGA, 1949.

Associated Names

O'Keeffe, Georgia

Exhibition History

Photographs by Alfred Stieglitz, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, March 16–April 27, 1958
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
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


Greenough, Sarah, and Juan Hamilton. Alfred Stieglitz: Photographs and Writings. Washington, 1983: no. 60, pl. 30.
Greenough, Sarah. Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection of Photographs. Washington, 2002: vol. 1, cat. 463.

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