The Steerage, Alfred Stieglitz
Alfred Stieglitz
The Steerage
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Alfred Stieglitz

The Steerage, 1907

33.4 x 26.6 cm
Physical Description
Photogravure on Japan paper
Inventory Number
Acquired in 2011 as a gift from Uta and Wilfried Wiegand, property of Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.
Not on display


About the Work

On this journey, Stieglitz is travelling from New York back to the Old World. He is fascinated by the disappointed faces of the expelled immigrants. Stieglitz’s first-class ticket places him on the opposite side of those travelling in steerage, and it was from there that he photographed the activities of the returnees. What at first glance appears to be a snapshot is in fact a carefully composed photograph: the man in the straw hat looking down, the mother carrying her child in her arms, the iron architecture of the vessel – a picture of the shattered American dream.

About the Acquisition

The Städelscher Museums-Verein acquired the photographic collection of Uta and Wilfried Wiegand with the financial support of the Kulturstiftung der Länder and the Hessische Kulturstiftung. The museum also received part of the collection as a gift from the owners. Consisting of some 200 photographs from the nineteenth century and Classic Modernism, the Wiegand Collection is one of the most important photo collections worldwide. Assembled since the 1970s, the collection provides an outstanding record of the development of photography as a medium.


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