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

 I am not a painter, nor an artist. Therefore I can see straight, and that may be my undoing. 
 The idea of Secession is hateful to the American—they’ll be thinking of the Civil War. I’m not. Photo-Secession actually means a seceding from the accepted idea of what constitutes a photograph... (1902) 
 In looking at the photographs of clouds, people seem to feel freed to think more about the actual relationships in the pictures and less about the subject-matter. True meaning... comes through directly, without an extraneous or distracting pictorial or representational factors coming between the person and the picture. 
 Owning a picture, putting pictures away in the homes of the rich, or in museums, is not caring, is not really putting art to its best use or helping the artist to develop to his fullest capacity. Until the feeling that makes one want a picture... is mirrored in one’s way of life... there can be no meaning to having pictures. 
 The sharp outlines which we Americans are so proud of as being proof of great perfection in our art are untrue to Nature, and hence an abomination to the artist. (1892) 
 Let me here call attention to one of the most universally popular mistakes that have to do with photography—that of classing supposedly excellent work as professional, and using the term amateur to convey the idea of immature productions and to excuse atrociously poor photographs. As a matter of fact nearly all the greatest work is being, and has always been done, by those who are following photography for the love of it, and not merely for financial reasons. As the name implies, an amateur is one who works for love; and viewed in this light the incorrectness of the popular classification is readily apparent. 
 Photography is a much more wonderful medium of expression than its staunchest adherents realize today... It is to those who understand nature and love it, who love photography, that the future will bring about revelations little dream of today. (1918) 
 Photography as a fad well-nigh on its last legs, thanks principally to the bicycle craze. Those seriously interested in its advancement do not look upon this state of affairs as a misfortune, but as a disguised blessing, inasmuch as photography had been classed as a sport by nearly all of those who deserted its ranks and fled to the present idol, the bicycle. (1896) 
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