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

 Every photograph is a fake from start to finish. 
 No photographer is as good as the simplest camera. 
 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. 
 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.) 
 I don’t care about making photography an art. I want to make good photographs. I’d like to know who first got it into his head that dreaminess and mist is an art. Take things as they are; take good photographs and the art will take care of itself. (1923) 
 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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