Edward Steichen
[Photographer and curator, b. 1879, Luxembourg, Germany, d. 1973, West Redding, Connecticut.]

 Over three and a half million people have seen the exhibit; a million copies of the book, The Family of Man, have gone all over the world... This is irrefutable proof that photography is a universal language; that it speaks to all people; that people are hungry for that kind of language. They are hungry for pictures that have meaning, a meaning they can understand. 
 The aerial photograph is itself harmless and valueless. It enters into the category of “instrument of war” when it has disclosed the information written on the surface of the print. (1919) 
 Photography is a medium of formidable contradictions. It is both ridiculously easy and almost impossibly difficult. It is easy because its technical rudiments can readily be mastered by anyone with a few simple instructions. It is difficult because, while the artist working with any other medium begins with a blank surface and gradually brings his conception into being, the photographer is the only image-maker who begins with his picture completed. His emotions, his knowledge, and his native talent are brought into focus and fixed beyond recall the moment the shutter of his camera has closed. 
 The use of the term art medium is, to say the least misleading, for it is the artist that creates a work of art not the medium. 
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