JAIC 1995, Volume 34, Number 1, Article 1 (pp. 1 to 10)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 1995, Volume 34, Number 1, Article 1 (pp. 1 to 10)

ALFRED STIEGLITZ'S PALLADIUM PHOTOGRAPHS AND THEIR TREATMENT BY EDWARD STEICHEN

DOUGLAS G. SEVERSON


ABSTRACT—The majority of Alfred Stieglitz's palladium photographs were treated after his death by fellow photographer Edward Steichen. The exact nature of the treatment is uncertain, but now, decades later, it may be having an adverse impact on the photographs. This paper summarizes historical and experimental investigations undertaken to clarify this issue. The platinum-palladium process is briefly described, as is a chronology of Stieglitz's use of particular processes and techniques. Events of 1946–51 are related, including the examination and distribution by Georgia O'Keeffe of Stieglitz's lifework and the treatment of more than 230 of his palladium prints by Steichen. Densitometric studies of treated palladium prints in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago are summarized. The observed effects of the treatments are described, and the possible nature of Steichen's procedures is hypothesized.

Article Sections:

1. INTRODUCTION
2. STIEGLITZ'S TECHNIQUES
3. THE PLATINUM AND PALLADIUM PROCESS
4. STEICHEN'S TREATMENT
5. EXHIBITION AND PRINT MONITORING
6. EFFECTS OF STEICHEN'S TREATMENT
7. CONCLUSIONS
a: References , Author Information
Entire Article

Copyright 1995 American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works