An American Lens:
Scenes from Alfred Stieglitz’s New York Secession
by Jay Bochner
Chapters: 1. The Coming Storm of Modernism (1893). 2. Conservation Frames
(1910). 3. Before the Armory (1913). 4. Outside the Armory (1912-1913).
5. Mechanics of the New York Secession (1915). 6. Days in April, Sweet and
Cruel (1917); Part I, Mina Loy, W.C. Williams, and Arthur Cravan; Part II, War, Iconoclasm and women’s work at the Independents’ Show, Pre-Dada, Duchamp
. 7. The Serial Portrait (1917-1935). 8. Down from the Clouds (1929-1935). 9. Conclusion: The Secession’s Unyielding Father.
“One last important aspect of ... modernism. Neither Crane nor Stieglitz are rejecting modernity, but both read very
well the capabilities and meanings of changed technologies--newspaper and camera, in their cases--infusing these
rapidly debased mediums with the force of their sensitivity to pry loose an authenticity not yet bought and paid for.
Their fragments are in a way pirated; if the consumer was willing to let Eastman hijack his personal experience,
Stieglitz, for one, would take some back, with a better negative, a better lens, and greater virtuosity in the darkroom. It is the quality of his image that is a sanctuary, and that sanctuary is not from modernity, which has after all
produced the medium he is using and perfecting. Crane for his part, is laying the groundwork for a prose initiated by
the popular press but rendered in his hands capable of undercutting stock response. Both are trying to keep democratization free of a cheapening of means in mass production.” --Ja Bochner, in Chapter 1.