A Legacy of Light.
By Katherine Hoffman.
Yale University Press, New Haven, 2011. 400 pp., 200 black & white and 80 color illustrations, 8½x10½".
In Stieglitz: A Beginning Light, Katherine Hoffman presented an account of the early years of the career of Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) and of his European roots. Now, she offers a compelling portrait of his life and art from 1915 to 1946, focusing on his American works, issues of identity, and the rise of modernism in America.
Hoffman explores Stieglitz's roles as photographer, editor, writer, and gallery director; how they intersected with his personal life — including his marriage to artist Georgia O'Keeffe — and his place in the cultural milieu of the 20th century. Excerpts from previously unpublished correspondence between Stieglitz and O'Keeffe reveal the fervor and complexity of their relationship as well as his passion for photography and modern art and his ongoing struggle to have photography recognized as an established artistic medium. These letters, along with his work as an editor and writer of short articles, illuminate Stieglitz's literary side, thus giving a new perspective on his total oeuvre.
Generously illustrated with 300 images, this intriguing, beautifully written book separates the photographer's true personality from the myths surrounding him and highlights his lasting legacy: the works he left behind.