Edward Steichen, ‘Katharine Cornell in 'The Barretts of Wimpole Street' for Vanity Fair’, 1931, Heritage Auctions
Edward Steichen, ‘Katharine Cornell in 'The Barretts of Wimpole Street' for Vanity Fair’, 1931, Heritage Auctions
Edward Steichen, ‘Katharine Cornell in 'The Barretts of Wimpole Street' for Vanity Fair’, 1931, Heritage Auctions

Condition Report: Unmounted; not framed; silver mirroring; corners are lightly bumped; one folding crease approximately 1/2 inches long to the upper right corner; a few soft handling creases, most notably two to the upper left quadrant and two to the lower right quadrant, noticeable in raking light; a few spots of possible retouching,;most notably center right.

Signature: Titled and dated in pencil by an unknown hand; the Museum of Modern Art Publicity Department return stamp on verso and museum label affixed to verso.

Image rights: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

About Edward Steichen

Though he is immortalized as one of the greatest photographers of his time, it was Edward Steichen's early roots as a painter that allowed him to so drastically influence the photographic medium. “The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each to himself,” he theorized. Steichen’s attempt and ultimate success to gain recognition for photography as an art form, alongside his contemporary and Photo-Secession cofounder Alfred Stieglitz, employed a Pictorialist approach distinguished by dreamlike, soft-focused images that reflected the accepted style and principles of other art forms. A later stint as an aerial photographer during WWI led Steichen to adopt a Modernist vision—he would turn to straightforward, clean lines in his work thereafter, moving on to work in commercial photography and become an acclaimed pioneer of fashion photography.

American, 1879-1973, Bivange, Luxembourg