Alfred Stieglitz, ‘The Terminus’, 1893, Phillips

2 1/8 x 2 5/8 in. (5.4 x 6.7 cm)
Overall 3 1/8 x 3 1/4 in. (7.9 x 8.3 cm)

From the Catalogue:
Alfred Stieglitz experimented broadly with photographic techniques and printing methods in his early career. While this technical experimentation is rarely emphasized in studies of his work, Stieglitz nonetheless expanded the capabilities of the processes available to photographers at the turn of the century. His perfection of the photogravure, platinum, and palladium processes are generally known, but he was equally enthusiastic about the lantern slide and ultimately created a series of finely-realized slides that met his high standards for tonal precision and detail.

A lantern slide is a transparency on glass designed to be viewed with a projector, popularly known as a “magic lantern” or, simply, a “lantern.” Projected onto a wall or screen, a properly made lantern slide produced a luminous image much larger than could be attained through the printing methods of the day. Stieglitz’s belief in the process as a vehicle for his images was such that he made slides of many of his best photographs and included them in several prominent exhibitions. A lantern slide of this image was projected at the Royal Photographic Society in London in 1897.

While better known today as The Terminal, Stieglitz first exhibited this image as The Terminus. The image remained an important one for Stieglitz, and he returned to it repeatedly, exhibiting it as a carbon print, small and large-format photogravures, and, in the 1920s, a gelatin silver print. In Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set, Sarah Greenough locates only one other lantern slide of this image, at the George Eastman Museum, Rochester.
Courtesy of Phillips

Signature: Titled, numbered '23' in ink and printed credit on the paper mat; numerical and 'The Camera Club, N.Y.' paper labels affixed to the glass housing.

Greenough, Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set (Volume One), no. 93
Variant croppings:
Camera Work, Number 36, October 1911, p. 61
Bry, Alfred Stieglitz: Photographer, pl. 2
Daniel, Stieglitz Steichen Strand, pls. 4-5
Homer, Alfred Stieglitz and the Photo Secession, p. 18
Norman, Alfred Stieglitz: An American Seer, pl. IV
Whelan, Alfred Stieglitz: Photography, Georgia O'Keeffe, and the Rise of the Avant-Garde in America, n.p.

Sotheby's, New York, 5 October 1994, lot 9

About Alfred Stieglitz

Through his work and writing, photographer Alfred Stieglitz was instrumental in establishing photography as a recognized fine art form. Some of Steiglitz's best-known photographs are of the painter Georgia O'Keeffe (who would eventually become his wife), and in line with his belief that great photography “becomes more real than reality,” these close-up portraits convey as much about form as they do about her personality and their relationship. Stieglitz was feverishly devoted to his work and mission and produced thousands of editions in his lifetime, covering numerous themes that captured a period of rapid transition in American society. In 1905, he opened 291 Gallery in New York City to promote pioneering photographers and avant-garde European artists. Stieglitz achieved his goal to have photography shown alongside painting and, due to his efforts, is known as an important proponent of early modernism and not only as a promoter of photography.

American, 1864-1946, Hoboken, NJ, United States, based in New York, NY, United States