Lot 380: ALFRED STIEGLITZ. 291. Numbers 1-12.

Swann Auction Galleries

October 25, 2016
New York, NY, US

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Description: WITH HAND APPLIED COLOR ALFRED STIEGLITZ.
291. Numbers 1-12.
Edited by Alfred Stieglitz. The complete series of 12 numbers in 9 issues, including the rare large-format gravure The Steerage from Number 7-8. Comprising Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5-6, 7-8, 9, 10-11, and 12, illustrated with reproductions of art work and typographical compositions by important artists, including Picabia, John Marin, Picasso, Marius de Zayas, and others. Nos. 1 and 4 with pink and bright blue hand applied color, apparently by the corresponding artist, and No. 9 with the inserted Modern Gallery annoucement. Folios, folded self-wrappers, Nos. 1-9 on heavy paper and 10-12 on a glossy paper, light wear, including 3 with horizontal creases. THE FIRST AND ONLY EDITION.
New York, New York: '291,' March 1915-February 1916
Notes: WITH--The Steerage. Photogravure on Japan vellum, the image measuring 13x10 3/8 inches (33x26.4 cm.), the sheet 18 1/4x12 1/2 inches (46.4x31.6 cm.). 1907; printed 1915.

Apparently, it was hoped that the appearance of The Steerage in the double issue of 291 would satisfy requests for the image and benefit the journal. Stieglitz directly oversaw the printing of the photogravure on two types of paper: here we offer the Japan vellum, for which there were apparently only 100 subscribers.

Unfortunately, there were no further purchasers of this issue of 291, and after the magazine ended publication, Stieglitz destroyed most of the unsold issues. As a result, surviving copies of this issue and its gravure are scarce (Dorothy Norman, Alfred Stieglitz: An American Seer, p. 127).

Stieglitz himself said of this iconic image, "If all my photographs were lost and I were represented only by The Steerage, that would be quite all right."




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