Edward Steichen

Edward Steichen (1879-1973), Self-portrait with Studio Camera, 1917 (printed 1982), (764.1984)

Edward Steichen (1879-1973), [Self-portrait with brush and palette], 1901 (2011.78.2)

Edward Steichen (1879-1973), [Self-portrait], 1937 (1160.2005)

Life, April 26, 1937, pp. 52-55 (photos by Edward Steichen)

Millions of Gardeners

… [The visitors to the International Flower Show in the Grand Central Palace in New York City, March 1937] were much more impressed, however by the prize-winning gardens shown on the following pages in color photographs taken by Edward Steichen. Mr. Steichen whose picture is inset at left, is known among photographers as one of the greatest portraitists clicking a shutter today. He is known among horticulturalists as one of the greatest breeders of delphiniums who ever called the gods’ wrath down on a burrowing star-nosed mole.
Life, April 26, 1937, p. 52

Millions of Moles. For more about star-nosed moles, please see: “The Star-Nosed Mole Has the World’s Most Sophisticated Sniffer,” from the American Museum of Natural History. Most moles do not have very good vision, in fact they are almost blind. Well, why would they need to see? (Who nose? Do they have black-light posters of super star star-nosed moles on the walls of their burrows?) They spend most of their time underground, burrowing and doing mole-things. Everything looks the same in the dark, but not everything smells the same. That’s why they need sophisticated sniffers and knowledgeable noses. These magnificent creatures are also one of the few animals that can smell underwater. Intriguingly, star-nosed moles are “the fastest eater of any mammal.” (Perhaps not surprising since their diet consists primarily of earthworms… that’s Life.)

Anyway, let’s not make a mountain out of a passing reference to a burrowing star-nosed mole, and return to Edward Steichen (who, as an editor and curator, had a sophisticated sniffer for sniffing out great photographs). Here he is working. (He’s not doing a star-nosed mole impersonation – it’s the family of people exhibition, not the family of star-nosed moles exhibition:-)

Wayne Miller (1918-2013), Steichen working on Family of Man show, 1954 (79.1998)

Suzanne Szasz (1915–1997), Edward Steichen at age 90 at his Redding, Ct. home, ca. 1969 (382.1981)

Weegee (1899-1968), Edward Steichen, ca. 1960 (3500.1993)

Three self-portraits by, and three portraits of, Edward Steichen, born on this day, March 27, 1879, in Bivange, Luxembourg.

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