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Beyond a Portrait: Photographs by Alfred Stieglitz and Dorothy Norman

June 23–October 28, 1984

Perhaps no other individual in the first half of this century did as much to foster a truly American expression of the modern world, to encourage and promote other artists who shared his vision, as Alfred Stieglitz. Although deeply involved with his own photography, Stieglitz had a seemingly inexhaustible energy for sharing responses to art. He selflessly gave of himself to artist friends and random visitors alike, guiding them toward a pure, emotional response to art. Dorothy Norman was one visitor who happened on his gallery and they began a deep, enduring companionship which found expression in their work. Stieglitz believed that the camera, when properly guided, could produce perfectly embodied "equivalents" of unified thought and feeling. He urged other photographers to seek photographic expression which was "straight, unmanipulated, devoid of all tricks," a clarity of vision to which Mrs. Norman responded intuitively. This exhibition of some 60 photographs covers the years between their first meeting in 1927 and Stieglitz's death in 1946. Included are photographs of each other, views of New York, and several of Stieglitz's "equivalents" which have so influenced succeeding generations of photographers. It is particularly appropriate that the first exhibition in the new gallery space for the Alfred Stieglitz Center, established at this Museum by Mrs. Norman in his name in 1968, should pay tribute to their friendship. The exhibition is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue.

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Martha Chahroudi

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