Alfred Stieglitz
[Photographer and curator, b. 1864, Hoboken, New Jersey, d. 1946, New York.]

 The camera was waiting for me by predestination and I took to it as a musician takes to the piano or a painter to the canvas. I went to photography really a free soul—and loved it at first sight with a great passion. 
 When we go through an exhibition of American photographs, we are struck by the conventionality of the subjects chosen; we see the same types of country roads, of wood interiors, the everlasting waterfall, village scenes; we see the same groups at doorsteps and on piazzas; the same unfortunate attempts at illustrating popular poetry; the same etc., etc., ad infinitum. (1892) 
 My photographs do not lend themselves to reproduction. The very qualities that give them their life would be completely lost in reproduction. The quality of touch in its deepest living sense is inherent in my photographs. When that sense of touch is lost, the heartbeat of the photograph is extinct—dead. My interest is in the living. That is why I cannot give permission to reproduce my photographs. 
 I hate to look at the future and see myself as a dried up teacher of photography. (On being forced to earn money teaching at Columbia and the Brooklyn Museum, 1908) 
 Don’t be afraid. Just go ahead—photograph, photograph, photograph. That’s the only way you’ll learn. 
 As far as exhibitions are concerned, to me they are only of any meaning whatever if they are a public demonstration of a positive advance in or a summing up of the really genuine work that has been done in any field of work. Exhibitions, as exhibitions, to me, have always been an abomination, for, as a rule, they are nothing more than a marketplace for the mediocre or the parading ground for the stupid vanities of the small mind. (1910) 
 Something happens, it’s a thousandth part of a fleeting second. It’s up to the photographer to capture that on film, because like a dying day, the thing will never come back again. (Quoted by Weegee, 1958) 
 PLEASE NOTE: in the above STATEMENT the following, fast becoming “obsolete,” terms do not appear: ART, SCIENCE, BEAUTY, RELIGION, every ISM, ABSTRACTION, FORM, PLASTICITY, OBJECTIVITY, SUBJECTIVITY, OLD MASTERS, MODERN ART, PSYCHOANALYSIS, AESTHETICS, PICTORIAL PHOTOGRAPHY, DEMOCRACY, CEZANNE, “291,” PROHIBITION. The term TRUTH did creep in but may be kicked out by any one. (Statement in exhibition catalog, 1921) 
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