The Steichen Collections Luxembourg assemble works that are connected to the heritage of Edward J. Steichen (1879 – 1973) and his long, fruitful career related to photography.

The Steichen Collections Luxembourg assemble works that are connected to the heritage of Edward J. Steichen (1879 – 1973) and his long, fruitful career related to photography. Several public collections testify his prolific creation as a photographer and curator at the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA): those of the National Museum of History and Art (MNHA), the City of Luxembourg and the National Centre for Audiovisual Arts (CNA).

The Family of Man

UNESCO Memory of the World

CNA, Clervaux Castle

Clervaux

The Family of Man is a legendary photographic exhibition, created by Edward Steichen for the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 1955. The exhibition reflects the humanist photography of the post-war years, declaring itself a manifesto for peace. Images by artists such as Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Wayne Miller, … were staged in a modernist and spectacular manner.

After an international tour, the exhibition is now shown permanently at Clervaux castle and is part of the UNESCO’s Memory of the world list.

The Bitter Years is a tribute to documentary photography, featuring more than 200 images from one of the greatest collective projects in the history of photography: the documentation of rural America during the Great Depression by the Farm Security Administration.

Created in 1962 by Edward Steichen for the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the exhibition is today housed permanently in the Waassertuerm+Pomhouse in Dudelange, bringing together the iconic works of photographers, such as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Arthur Rothstein and Russell Lee.

The Bitter Years

1935 - 1941

CNA, Waassertuerm+Pomhouse

Dudelange

A gallery dedicated solely to Edward Steichen, is the MNHA’s homage to his career as a photographer. The collection consists of 178 photos bequeathed to the Grand- Duchy of Luxembourg by Steichen himself, and bears witness to the universal importance of his work.

For conservation reasons, this permanent exhibition will be divided into thematic cycles, displaying around 20 photos at a time.

Edward Steichen

The Photographer

Musée national d’histoire et d’art (MNHA)

Luxembourg

This exhibition showcases 44 works by Edward Steichen in dialogue with paintings by Luxembourg artists from the same period. The similarities in terms of subject and composition underline the multifaceted relationships between Steichen’s photographic art and the art of painting. The collection features a broad range of Steichen’s work: portraits, landscapes, nudes, still-lives, advertising, etc. The selection shows that Steichen’s career as a photographer is inseparable from his intense preoccupation with painting and sculpture.

Temporary exhibition

Time Space Continuum

Photographs by Edward Steichen in dialogue with painting

Villa Vauban, Musée d’Art de la Ville de Luxembourg

Luxembourg

Series of conferences - Steichen Collections 2017

Collections

The Steichen Collections of the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg assemble works that are connected to the heritage of Edward J. Steichen (1879 – 1973). The American artist of Luxembourgish descent is world famous for his remarkably long and fruitful career related to photography. Not only was Edward Steichen a very prolific photographer, he was also director of the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, where his work as curator of photographicexhibitions was acclaimed worldwide.

The collections on display in Luxembourg reflect his two-fold activity: while the MNHA and the Villa Vauban honour the photographer with a selection of his private and commissioned works, the Centre national de l’audiovisuel (CNA) with its two collections The Family of Man and The Bitter Years, highlights his achievements as curator, assembling the works by famous photographers.

Biography Edward J. STEICHEN

The life of Edward Steichen (1879-1973) spanned a rich and varied artistic career: known above all for his photography work, he was also a painter, director, MoMA curator, gardener and passionate experimenter.

Edward Steichen, Self-Portrait with Camera, c. 1917 © 2015 The Estate of Edward Steichen / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

1879
Born Bivange (Luxembourg), March 27. Fils de Jean-Pierre Steichen et de Marie Steichen Kemp.
1881
Steichen family moves to the United States; Edward Steichen naturalized as citizen
1894-1898
Apprentice at lithography company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1899
First photographs exhibited at Philadelphia Photographic Salon
1900
First solo exhibition at private home, Milwaukee, WI; studies at Academie Julian, Paris; meets Rodin
1901
Paintings and photographs exhibited in Paris; elected member of Linked Ring: London photographic society
1902
Among founders of Photo-Secession group; first solo exhibition at Maison des Artistes, Paris; establishes studio at 291 Fifth Avenue
1903
Marries Clara Smith (divorced 1922; two daughters: Dr. Mary Steichen [Martin] Calderone [1904-1998] and [Charlotte] Kate Rodina Steichen [1908-1988])
1905
Stieglitz opens Little Gallery of the Photo-Secession, later Gallery 291, in Edward Steichen's former studio and first shows "modern" art (Cézanne, Picasso, Maurer, and others)
1906
Returns to Paris
1908
Arranges through Leo and Gertrude Stein for Ecole de Paris artists to be seen in the United States; rents farmhouse at Voulangis, France; sister Lilian marries Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)
1910
First creates delphinium hybrids at Voulangis
1911
First fashion photography, of gowns by Poiret
1911-1914
Creates painted murals (In Exaltation of Flowers) for residence of Agnes and Eugene Meyer
1913
First experimental photographs of plant forms, flowers, and insects
1914
Returns to United States at outbreak of war
1917
Commissioned as Lieutenant in U.S. Army Signal Corps Photographic section; supervises aerial reconnaissance photography in France
1919-1922
Continues experiments in object photography; burns paintings in garden of Voulangis studio
1922
Divorces Clara Smith Steichen
1923
Marries Dana Desboro Glover (d. February 20, 1957)
1923-1924
Occupies photographic studio at 80 W. 40th Street, New York City
1923-1938
Chief Photographer, Condé Nast publications; photographs appear in Vogue and Vanity Fair; begins photographic work for J. Walter Thompson advertising agency
1928
Designs pianos; begins breeding delphiniums at Umpawaug farm, Redding, CT
1929
Carl Sandburg's Steichen the Photographer published
1930-1931
Collaborates with daughter Mary on The First Picture Book: Every Day Things for Babies, and The Second Picture Book
1932
First color cover of Vogue
1935-1937
Occupies photographic studio at 139 E. 69th Street; selects photographs for U.S. Camera Annuals
1936
Exhibits delphiniums at MoMA: Edward Steichen's Delphiniums [exhibition at MoMA, June 24-July 1, 1936]
1938
Retires from Condé Nast, moves to Umpawaug farm, Redding, CT
1941
Joins U.S. Navy as organizer of Naval Aviation Photographic Unit; by 1945, is in command of all naval combat photography
1942
Designs Road to Victory [exhibition at MoMA, May 21-October 4, 1942] in collaboration with Carl Sandburg
1943
Aboard U.S.S. Lexington
1944
Supervises U.S. Navy film The Fighting Lady, winner 1945 Academy Award for Documentary Film
1945
Named director U.S. Navy Photographic Institute, which was established "to promote and encourage photography on Naval subjects" (see folder IV.B.29); creates Power in the Pacific [exhibition at MoMA, January 23-March 20, 1945]
1947
Named Director, Department of Photography MoMA; discontinues photographic career to promote younger photographers
1952
Begins preparations for The Family of Man, assisted by Wayne Miller, including travel in the United States and Europe to obtain photographs for selection
1955
The Family of Man opens at MoMA [exhibition at MoMA, January 24-May 8, 1955]
1955-1960
Begins color exploration, on still and moving image film, of shadblow tree on Umpawaug property
1957
Dana Steichen dies
1959
Travels to Russia with Carl Sandburg for Moscow opening of The Family of Man
1960
Marries Joanna Taub (1933-2010)
1961
Last exhibition at MoMA: Steichen the Photographer [exhibition at MoMA, March 28-May 30, 1961]; establishment of Edward Steichen Photography Center in planned new MoMA building
1962
Retires and named Director Emeritus; John Szarkowski becomes Director of Photography
1963
A Life in Photography published; Edward Steichen awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom by John F. Kennedy, presented by Lyndon Johnson; meets the Grand Duchess Josephine-Charlotte of Luxembourg at the White House
1964
Edward Steichen Photography Center opens at MoMA with exhibition Edward Steichen Photography Center [exhibition at MoMA, May 27, 1964- ] ; The Family of Man exhibition given to Luxembourg
1966
Visits Luxemburg with Joanna Steichen
1973
Dies March 25, two days before 94th birthday

(source: Museum of Modern Art, New York)

Series of conferences

Steichen Collections 2017

LUXEMBOURG, Villa Vauban

Steichen – The Early Years

Vendredi 21/04, 19h

Depuis ses débuts en tant que photographe aux ambitions artistiques, en passant par son engagement pour l’art moderne européen, qu’il a aidé à établir aux Etats-Unis, Edward Steichen fait preuve, dès ses débuts professionnels, d’une biographie riche et complexe. Cette conférence illustre son œuvre de la Belle Epoque jusqu’aux années noires de la Première Guerre mondiale.

 

DUDELANGE, CNA, Waassertuerm+Pomhouse

Une crise en images iconiques

Jeudi, 19/10, 19h, The Bitter Years

Les romans de John Steinbeck et les chansons de Woody Guthry ont marqués la mémoire collective des années de la Grande Dépression aux USA. En 1963, Edward Steichen voulait rappeler cette période noire au public new-yorkais à l’aide d’une grande exposition photographique. L’exposition The Bitter Years n’a cependant pas eu le succès escompté. Steichen avait composé un monument visuel que nous commençons seulement à apprécier depuis quelques années.

 

CLERVAUX, CNA, Château de Clervaux

Humanisme en temps durs

Jeudi, 23/11, 19h, The Family of Man

Avec son exposition The Family of Man, Edward Steichen a composé une suite épique, fabriquée à partir de petites histoires et d’anecdotes privées, parfois presque intimes. Cette conférence fera le point sur l’histoire de certaines de ces photos, aujourd’hui universellement reconnues.

 

LUXEMBOURG, MNHA

Le portrait à la perfection

Jeudi 7/12 à 18h30

L’année 1922 a été difficile pour Edward Steichen. Sur le plan privé, mais aussi au niveau artistique, Steichen a dû subir plusieurs échecs. Après un divorce douloureux et la conviction qu’il ne serait jamais un grand peintre, Steichen, âgé alors de 43 ans se reprend pour commencer une nouvelle carrière aux Etats-Unis. Il deviendra le photographe attitré des éditions Condé-Nast.