midterm - Tricia Mittman History 328 Midterm The...

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Tricia Mittman History 328 Midterm The intricacies of New York City result in millions of unique photographs that attest to different themes centered on the city itself. Photos of buildings, people, both, or neither can be equally intriguing to the eye. An often-overlooked aspect of photographs is the artist behind them, and their atmosphere. By discovering the history and Jewish heritage of Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, Robert Frank, and Lisette Model, their photographs adopted a new layer of complexity and thus further appreciation. The influence that photographers’ subtlety cast on their pictures can be easily overlooked by an uninformed viewer, but can change the ideas or messages extracted from the photo if one is to consider the upbringing of the artist. These four photographers conducted extensive work in New York City, however as a result of their diverse backgrounds their photos all have a distinguished focus or approach, specific to the photographer. Alfred Stieglitz was born in Hoboken, New Jersey in the mid 18 th century, just outside of New York City. He was the product of German-Jewish immigrants who oversaw that he was well educated and looked after. He attended the best private school in New York City, and grew up in the atmosphere of the city. Stieglitz enrolled in City College, however when he discovered anti-Semitic remarks in the school newspaper, he and his family moved back to Berlin, an ironic concept to consider today. However, it was in Berlin that Stieglitz first discovered photography, and when his family moved back to America, his father had to threaten Stieglitz monetarily to encourage him to return as well. Reluctantly, Alfred Stieglitz began photographing cityscapes of New York from outside the windows of his gallery on 59 th street. He took around ninety cityscape
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photographs in his career, and his first exhibit of these was in 1932. His photos document the building boom of the 1920s in Manhattan, which transformed the formerly refined ‘uptown’ that Stieglitz had known, into a skyscraper ridden ‘midtown’; a center for business, hotels, and trading. One of his more famous photographs, The Flatiron depicts the iconic juxtaposition he saw of buildings and nature. This photo contains a tightly cropped image of a winter scene, with a tree in the foreground and a tall building and
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midterm - Tricia Mittman History 328 Midterm The...

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