Masterpieces & Curiosities: Alfred Stieglitz’s The Steerage at The Jewish Museum, September 25, 2015 – February 14, 2016

“This exhibition focuses on Stieglitz’s enduring 1907 photogravure of steerage-class passengers aboard the ocean liner Kaiser Wilhelm II. This much-reproduced image has often been regarded as evidence of the poor conditions under which many immigrants arrived in America, but in fact was taken on a voyage from the United States to Europe. As such, it is a document of people who were likely denied entry and citizenship to the United States. Stieglitz’s concerns, however, were largely aesthetic rather than social-minded: he was moved more by the picture’s formal qualities than its subject matter. Stieglitz considered the work to be his greatest triumph in a long, illustrious career as a photographer, stating later in life, ‘If all my photographs were lost, and I’d be represented by just one, The Steerage, I’d be satisfied’.” — The Jewish Museum

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Arnold Newman (American, 1918-2006), Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe,  An American Place, New York City, 1944, gelatin silver print, 14 x 11 in. (35.6 x 27.9 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York, gift of Augusta and Arnold Newman, 1994-19. © Arnold Newman

2000-6,The Steerage,Artist: Stieglitz, Photographer:John Parnell, Photo © The Jewish Museum, New York

Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946), The Steerage, 1907, photogravure, 15 7/8 × 11 1/8 in. (40.4 × 28.1 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York, purchase: Mr. and Mrs. George Jaffin Fund, 2000-6

Exhibition view of Masterpieces & Curiosities: Alfred Stieglitz’s The Steerage at The Jewish Museum, NY

Installation view of Masterpieces & Curiosities: Alfred Stieglitz’s The Steerage. Photo: David Heald

2000-74,The Steerage (After Alfred Stieglitz), From the Pictures of Chocolate series,Artist: Muniz, Photographer:Richard Goodbody, Photo © The Jewish Museum, New York

Vik Muniz (Brazilian, b. 1961), The Steerage (after Alfred Stieglitz), from Pictures of Chocolate, 2000, silver dye bleach print , 37 ¾ x 30 ¼ in. (95.9 x 76.8 cm). The Jewish Museum, New York, gift of Melva Bucksbaum, 2000-74. Artwork © Vik Muniz / Licensed by VAGA, New York

ca. 1919, Hoboken, New Jersey, USA --- Soldiers on the USS Agamemnon cheer as they return home from battles in France. The deck of the ship is crowded with cheering soldiers. Hoboken, New Jersey, ca. 1919. --- Image by © Corbis

Photograph of soldiers on the USS Agamemnon cheering as they return home from battles in France, Hoboken, New Jersey, c. 1919. Image provided by Corbis

Exhibition view of Masterpieces & Curiosities: Alfred Stieglitz’s The Steerage at The Jewish Museum, NY

Installation view of Masterpieces & Curiosities: Alfred Stieglitz’s The Steerage. Photo: David Heald

Twin-Screw SS Kaiser Wilhelm II passing the Statue of Liberty Postcard

Postcard of the Kaiser Wilhelm II passing the Statue of Liberty

North German Lloyd, Kaiser Wilhelm II, first class smoking room

Postcard of the first-class smoking room on the Kaiser Wilhelm II. The Stanley Lehrer Ocean Liner. Collection, South Street Seaport Museum Foundation, South Street Seaport Museum, New York

Images courtesy The Jewish Museum. Installation view photos by David Heald.