Paul Strand (1890–1976)
Wall Street, New York, 1915
photogravure on Japan tissue from Camera Work, no. 48, 1916
image: 5 1/4 x 6 1/2 in.
sheet: 11 x 7 3/4 in.
Light Gallery, New York;
acquired from the above by John M. Bransten, San Francisco, 1972;
by descent to the present owner.
Alfred Stieglitz, Camera Work, no. 48, October 1916, pl. I.

Marianne Fulton Margolis (ed.), Alfred Stieglitz: Camera Work, A Pictorial Guide, Dover Publications, New York, 1978, p. 134.

Exhibition catalogue, Paul Strand: An American Vision, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C./Aperture, 1990, pl. 12.

Exhibition catalogue, Paul Strand: Circa 1916, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1998, cover and pl. 18.

Lot Essay

Paul Strand’s early work, Wall Street, is considered one of the most famous masterworks of Modernist photography. The photogravure of this image appeared in Alfred Stieglitz’s preeminent photographic journal Camera Work during its final period of publication. With his newly found dedication to ‘straight’ photography, which contrasted the Pictorialist tradition that dominated during the journal’s early existence, Stieglitz had at this time turned to Strand with hope in the future of the medium of photography. In one of the final issues of Camera Work, Stieglitz wrote that Strand’s work was ‘rooted in the best traditions of photography’ and described his images as ‘brutally direct’.

It was of the utmost importance to Stieglitz that the reproductions in Camera Work retain the full quality of the original work. The photogravure process was therefore supremely suited to convey the subtle tonalities of the platinum prints of the day. This rare vintage photogravure of Wall Street places the excellence of this technique on full display.

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