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High to Showcase Works by Alfred Stieglitz and His Circle from Atlanta Collections
John Marin (American, 1870–1953), Castorland, New York, 1913, watercolor and pencil, Purchase with funds from Margaret and Terry Stent Endowment for the Acquisition of American Art, 61.2010.

ATLANTA, GA.- The High Museum of Art will organize and host “Alfred Stieglitz and His Circle: American Moderns from Atlanta Collections,” an exhibition featuring approximately 60 works―watercolors, prints, paintings and photographs―drawn from the High’s permanent collection, as well as loans from private collections located in Atlanta. On display will be works by both Alfred Stieglitz and the artists who engaged with him over the course of five decades—from the early experimental works of Max Weber to the mature expressions of John Marin and Marsden Hartley, and the progressive photographic compositions of Paul Strand and Edward Steichen.

The exhibition will be on view from June 18 through September 11, 2011, and will run concurrently with “John Marin’s Watercolors: A Medium for Modernism.” The Marin exhibition, organized by the Art Institute of Chicago, was largely drawn from that museum’s Stieglitz Collection given by the modernist painter Georgia O’Keeffe in honor of her late husband. Marin was a central artist in Stieglitz’s circle and the two maintained a close working relationship and deep friendship over the course of four decades.

“Few individuals had a greater impact upon the rise and development of modern art in America than Alfred Stieglitz.” says Stephanie Heydt, the High’s Terry and Margaret Stent Curator of American Art. “A photographer, artist, critic, art dealer, and collector, Stieglitz championed many of America’s most progressive artists in the first decades of the twentieth century.”

This exhibition will showcase how Stieglitz’s impact extended well beyond his individual support of singular artists. His format of grouping and promoting new talents—photographers, painters, and sculptors alike—created a loose knit community whose shared purpose was to advance new approaches to artistic representation. His galleries served as avant-garde incubators in which new forms of art were, often for the first time in the United States, presented.

Already an accomplished pioneering photographer by the time he opened his famous Gallery 291 in 1905, Alfred Stieglitz shifted focus around 1909 to primarily promoting and advancing modern art in America through exhibitions and in his quarterly photographic journal “Camerawork.” Stieglitz’s earliest works supported an expansive group of artists who practiced a modernism reflective of European influences, such as continental Cubism and Expressionism, seen in the works of Max Weber, Arthur B. Carles, Oscar Bluemner, Abraham Walkowitz, Alfred Maurer, John Marin, and Marsden Hartley.

After World War I and with the closing of Gallery 291 in 1917, Stieglitz shifted towards a more exclusive group of artists, which he featured in a series of new exhibition spaces (including The Anderson Galleries, The Intimate Gallery, and An American Place) modeled after Gallery 291’s initial success. Stieglitz’s group of “Seven Americans,” took shape during this time, a group which included himself, the photographer Paul Strand, and painters Hartley, Marin, Dove, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Charles Demuth.

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