Edward Steichen, Models Wearing Sleeveless Gowns By Vionnet, 1930, black-and-white photograph. © 1930 Condé Nast Archive/Corbis.


Edward Steichen

Musée de l'Elysée
18, avenue de l'Elysée
January 11–March 30, 2008

Jeu de Paume
1 place de la Concorde
October 9–December 30, 2007

Curated by Todd Brandow and William A. Ewing

A monumental figure in both the aesthetic and promotional history of twentieth-century photography, Edward Steichen nevertheless raised hackles for effortlessly inhabiting the twin but opposing citadels of visual culture—New York’s Museum of Modern Art and Condé Nast. This extensive survey, curated by Todd Brandow and William A. Ewing, presenting seventy years of Steichen’s work—from 1895 to 1965—will feature some five hundred images, chronicling his transition from the romanticism of early pictorialism to experiments in postwar modernism and fashion photography. But that “problematic” duality between art and commerce in Steichen’s work has of late been recuperated, even vindicated, by visual-studies discourse, wherein the flexibility of those once-opposing categories has become central to the characterization of the photograph. Travels to the Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland, Jan. 11–Mar. 30, 2008; and other venues.