Edward Steichen
[Photographer and curator, b. 1879, Luxembourg, Germany, d. 1973, West Redding, Connecticut.]

 Every photograph is a fake from start to finish. 
 Every other artist begins [with] a blank canvas, a piece of paper... the photographer begins with the finished product. 
 Once you really commence to see things, then you really commence to feel things. 
 It is an error common to many artists, [who] strive merely to avoid mistakes, when all our efforts should be to create positive and important work. Better positive and important with mistakes and failures than perfect mediocrity. 
 No photographer is as good as the simplest camera. 
 Long before the birth of a word language the caveman communicated by visual images. The invention of photography gave visual communication its most simple, direct, universal language. (1960) 
 Dangerously close to snapshots but have collective impact. Maybe show group in show. Buy 3 at $10 each. (1961 note on Garry Winogrand photographs by Steichen, then director of photography at Museum of Modern Art, New York.) 
 When I first became interested in photography... my idea was to have it recognized as one of the fine arts. Today I don’t give a hoot in hell about that. The mission of photography is to explain man to man and each man to himself. And that is the most complicated thing on earth and also as naïve as a tender plant. 
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