List of selected artworks. Maps for the tour in the museum



Edward Steichen

Lives in Photography

24 june, 2008 - 23 september, 2008 /
Nouvel Building, Floor 0

Edward Steichen (Luxembourg, 1879 - Umpawa, USA, 1973) is one of the most prolific and influential figures in the history of photography. In this first major posthumous retrospective of the artist in Europe his many contributions to various photographic fields are shown. The nearly 300 original photographs of this retrospective include the extraordinary diversity of his work, the result of a seventy-year career, over which the artist covered the main genres of this medium.

Said to be "the best photographer of all time", Steichen's photographic career can be divided into three distinct stages: the pictorialist period until the First World War, which includes his nudes, portraits and deeply symbolic and atmospheric landscapes, the modern period between the Wars, characterised by an imagery of the industrial age, of great strength, clarity and precision, and the exhibition period, after the Second World War, during which he produces monumental exhibitions.

Steichen was born in Luxembourg but he soon moves with his family to the United States. At sixteen he begins his career as a photographer and at twenty-one he moves to Paris, where he studies painting and collaborates with Alfred Stieglitz in establishing the Photo-Secession group and his publication Camera Work. In New York both photographers open Gallery 291 where they show the American public the art of Rodin, Matisse, Cézanne, Picasso and Toulouse-Lautrec. From his position as chief photographer at Vanity Fair and Vogue, the two magazines that marked U.S. and European style and glamour, he would set the aesthetic standards of fashion photography.

During the Second World War he innovates in the field of war photography and after the War, now a key figure of modern photography, Steichen sets his sights on organising major exhibitions, assuming the management of the Department of Photography at the MOMA in New York. There he organises his greatest work, the collection The Family of Man (1955) with 500 photographs on fraternity and human commitment in 68 countries, which is now part of the permanent collection at the Château de Clervaux (Luxembourg), the only exhibition on the UNESCO World Heritage list and whose virtual reconstruction is included in this retrospective. In 2006 one of Steichen’s photographs set the record for the highest price paid for a photograph at auction to date.

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne and Foundation for the Exhibition of Photography, Minneapolis, USA
William Ewing y Todd Brandow
Exhibition Tour: 

Jeu de Paume, Paris (October 9 - December 30, 2007); Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland (January 17 - March 23, 2008); Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia, Italy (April 12 - June 8, 2008)


Current exhibitions

  • Exhibition view. Ree Morton. Be a Place, Place an Image, Imagine a Poem, 2015
    May 20 - September 28, 2015

    Ree Morton

    Be a Place, Place an Image, Imagine a Poem

  • Exhibition view. Carl Andre. Sculpture as Place, 1958-2010, 2015
    May 5 - October 12, 2015 Palacio de Velázquez. Parque del Retiro

    Carl Andre

    Sculpture as Place, 1958-2010

  • Vista de sala de la exposición. Federico Guzmán. Tuiza. Las culturas de la jaima, 2015
    April 16 – August 30, 2015

    Federico Guzmán

    Tuiza. The Cultures of the Bedouin Tent

  • Paul Klee. Baldgreis, 1922. Oil on cardboard, 40.3 x 37.4 cm. Kunstmuseum Basel © Kunstmuseum Basel
    March 18 - September 14, 2015

    White Fire

    The Kunstmuseum Basel Modern Collection

  • Pablo Picasso. Buveuse d’absinthe (The Absinthe Drinker), 1901. Oil on canvas, 81 x 60 cm. Im Obersteg Foundation, permanent loan to the Kunstmuseum Basel. Photography: Mark Gisler, Müllheim
    March 18 - September 14, 2015

    Collectionism and Modernity

    Two Case Studies: The Im Obersteg and Rudolf Staechelin Collections

  • Exhibition view. Not Yet. On the Reinvention of Documentary and the Critique of Modernism, 2015
    February 11 - July 13, 2015

    Not Yet

    On the Reinvention of Documentary and the Critique of Modernism