Foam is extremely proud to present Edward Steichen: In High Fashion, the Condé Nast Years, 1923 – 1937.
The works that he made throughout this period for the influential Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines are some of the most impressive creations of the twentieth century. They have been brought together for this exhibition and are being shown for the first time in the Netherlands.
Edward Steichen (1879-1973) was already a celebrated painter and photographer on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean when in early 1923 he was offered one of the most prestigious and lucrative positions in commercial photography – chief photographer at publishing house Condé Nast.
Throughout fifteen years Steichen made the most of his exceptional talent, portraying the culture of the era and the most prominent representatives of literature, journalism, dance, sports, politics, theatre and film.
White (center Gwili André), 1935 © Edward Steichen / Courtesy Condé Nast Publications
His greatest fame, however, came from his haute couture photos. Far more than his predecessors, Steichen propelled fashion photography to new heights, similar in significance to the transition in films from silent to sound. He abandoned artistic efforts in the movements of photographic Impressionism, Art Nouveau and Symbolism and developed into the foremost Art Deco photographer and founder of modern glamour photography.
In addition to extraordinary photos for famous fashion houses, the Steichen archive of Condé Nast, New York, contains impressive portraits including Greta Garbo, Cecil B. DeMille, Winston Churchill, Marlene Dietrich, George Gershwin, Frank Lloyd Wright, Amelia Earhart, Walt Disney and hundreds of other celebrities.
Edward Steichen: In High Fashion has been produced by the Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis in collaboration with Foam.
William A. Ewing, Todd Brandow and Nathalie Herschdorfer are the curators for this exhibition.
Foam is supported by the BankGiro Loterij, De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, City of Amsterdam, Delta Lloyd, Olympus and the VandenEnde Foundation.
ABOUT EDWARD STEICHEN
Steichen’s genius was not limited to 1930s fashion and glamour photography. Steichen was a major pioneer in the medium of photography from the late nineteenth century until far into the twentieth. He was a photographer (first and foremost an independent art photographer, but he also worked as a military photographer during WWI and WWII). He was a founding partner of the trail-blazing magazine Camera Work (1903-1917), together with Alfred Stieglitz, with whom he also introduced artists like Rodin, Matisse and Brancusi for the first time in the US. He was also curator of the famous international travelling exhibition The Family of Man, started in 1955, and became director of the photography department at MOMA.