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Edward Steichen (American, 1879–1973)
LOT ID: 40971
Balzac-Towards the Light, Midnight, 1911

Photogravure
6.2 х 8 in. (15.75 x 20.32 cm.)
Lot description
“Balzac Toward the Light, Midnight” is a photograph of Rodin’s plaster model taken in the sculptor’s home in Meudon, France. The model is set against a tense night sky, where light seems to erupt from darkness. The model was not cast in bronze until after Steichen’s death in 1973.

Edward Steichen (Born in 1879) begun a lithography apprenticeship with the American Fine Art Company in Milwaukee. In 1899, Alfred Stieglitz bought his prints and together they formed the Photosecession Group with Clarence White, Alvin Langdon Coburn and Gertrude Kasebier. Steichen was one of the first people in the United States to use the Lumiere Autocrhome process, when he was experimenting with color photography. In World War 1, Steichen was the commander of the photographic division of the American Expeditionary Forces. In 1923 he worked for the J. Walter Thompson Advertising Agency and soon thereafter became Conde Nast Publication’s chief photographer. He shot regularly for Vanity Fair and Vogue as well. Steichen became the Director of the U.S. Naval Photographic Institute in 1945. After the war, he became the Museum of Modern Art’s Director of Photography. He held many famous exhibitions there including “The Family of Man” in 1955.

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