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Sarah Greenough, “Alfred Stieglitz/Charles Demuth/1923,” Alfred Stieglitz Key Set, NGA Online Editions, https://purl.org/nga/collection/artobject/35693 (accessed November 21, 2019).

 

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Key Set Entry

Related Key Set Photographs

Remarks

Demuth, emaciated from a diet to control his diabetes, was in New York for a few days in February and again in mid-March 1923, before entering a sanatorium in Morristown, New Jersey, where he received his first insulin treatments and stayed until 2 May (see Emily Furnham, Charles Demuth: Behind a Laughing Mask [1971], 142). During one of these New York visits Stieglitz made this photograph and Key Set numbers 843, 844, and 845.

Charles Demuth wrote to Stieglitz on 16 April 1923, “From varied sources come great enthusiasm, to me, of what you did of me, and, too, Marcel [Duchamp] (see Key Set number 840). Could you send me some of the old proofs, or, any scraps of mine, so that I might see.” On seeing proofs he responded on 2 May 1923: “You have one in a fix: shall I remain ill retaining that look, die, considering that moment, the climax of my ‘looks’, or, live and change. I think the head is one of the most beautiful things that I have ever known in the world or art. A strange way,—to write of one’s own portrait,—but well, I’m a, perhaps, frank person. I send it this morning to my mother. The hands, too, Stieglitz—how do you do it? The texture in this one is, simply is!” (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, 28.128.1

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 422.1942

Other Collections

A print corresponding with this photograph can also be found in the following collection(s):

Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, P1998.75

Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, 2016.101.408 [platinum]

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 1923, New York (nos. 74 and 75, as Charles Demuth, 1923)
possibly 1932, New York (nos. 79a and 79b, as Charles Demuth, 1924)

Inscription

by Doris Bry, on mount, lower left verso, in graphite: 46 A

Provenance

Georgia O'Keeffe; gift to NGA, 1949.

Associated Names
O'Keeffe, Georgia
Bibliography
1947
Cramer, Konrad. "Stupendous Stieglitz." PSA Journal 13 (November 1947): 721.
1949
O'Keeffe, Georgia. "Stieglitz: His Pictures Collected Him." New York Times Magazine (11 December 1949): 25.
2002
Greenough, Sarah. Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set: The Alfred Stieglitz Collection of Photographs. Washington, 2002: vol. 2, cat. 842.
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