U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Steichen image in April's 'Vanity Fair'

Re: Steichen image in April's 'Vanity Fair'

Thanks Katharine... if some overpowering force wills it, I may get to that gallery, but we Villagers think if we go above 14th Street we get nosebleeds. However, some years ago I did see a couple of Steichen gum prints in a show uptown & they were indeed beautiful.... (compared to which his fashion prints seemed relatively ordinary).

However, on the topic of those "Moon Over Mamaroneck" AND the Flatiron building prints (tho one or more of them could be Stieglitz & I'm too harried today to check, in fact I'm not really here at this moment)... I've tried to figure out how the blue sky was printed in, with no other sky tone, and decided that there were likely 2 negatives, either one positive & one negative, of one much contrastier than the other....

Any info?


On Sat, 14 Mar 2009, Katharine Thayer wrote:

Good grief, what a mixed up mess, but Judy, you've got it partly figured out anyway. Let's start over.

Tom mentioned that in the April issue of Vanity Fair, p. 61 if I remember right, there's a reproduction of a Steichen that's in the current Steichen exhibition at Greenberg. He said it was identified as a "palladium ferro-prussiate print" and wondered what that was. I said it was cyanotype over palladium. The print is a portrait of a guy with a cigar in his mouth; if you don't have the April Vanity Fair handy, an electronic reproduction of it can be seen here:


That's really all there was to it; the rest was a very confusing diversion. The thread was somehow sidtracked without explanation or warning to a discussion of the Steichen pond-moonrise prints of which there are three known to be still in existence and one of which, a gum over platinum, was the Steichen print that sold for $2.9 million. There was some discussion about those prints, but it had nothing at all to do with the print in question, the one at Greenberg that was reproduced in Vanity Fair.

Hope that's clearer,

On Mar 14, 2009, at 5:15 PM, Keith Gerling wrote:

The April issue. Don't suppose this could be an April Fool's joke, do you?

On Sat, Mar 14, 2009 at 6:02 PM, Judy Seigel <jseigel@panix.com> wrote:

On Wed, 11 Mar 2009, Tom Hawkins wrote:

Well, since I am the one who 'let this cat out of the can of worms,' (as my
grandmother would say), I wonder if we have any list members who are in NYC
and might be able to visit Greenberg and give us their impressions of the
image(s) in the show? Judy???

I gather we're talking about 3 different things here:

1. an original (one of 3 originals I gather,tho i'm not sure if anyone has seen them & if we know which one).

2. a repro in Vanity Fair

3. A print being shown at Greenberg gallery...

It's not clear (in my welter of 150 e-mails) if the print at Greenberg is an "original" -- or if so, if it's "the" original referred to.

As for the image in Vanity Fair... NO image I've ever encountered in a mass magazine relates to an original faithfully except by accident, so any conclusions about the kind os subtleties the experts on this list are parsing from it are dubious. The guys (almost certainly guys !!!) at the printer's doing prepress can make Photoshop stand up, sing Dixie, and dance the macarena. I mean they are GOOD -- for their own purposes.

For instance, two of 3 prints I had in Chris James's 2nd edition were QUITE changed in the pre-press -- one of them much for the better (thanks fellas !) because the subtle contrast would not have shown up... the other added a border where I had none on a 4th side, the lack of which evidently bothered them, and odds are in fact it looked better on the page that way.

I only dwell on this (I was, as noted VERY satisfied) because these parsings of possibilities in the (or *an*) original print may be irrelevant...