Alfred Stieglitz
[Photographer and curator, b. 1864, Hoboken, New Jersey, d. 1946, New York.]

 The camera was waiting for me by predestination and I took to it as a musician takes to the piano or a painter to the canvas. I went to photography really a free soul—and loved it at first sight with a great passion. 
 I would rather be a first-class photographer in a community of first class photographers, than the greatest photographer in a community of nonentities. 
 I am at last photographing again... It is straight... No sentimentalism. Not old nor new—It is so sharp you can see the [pores] in a face—& yet it is abstract. 
 PLEASE NOTE: in the above STATEMENT the following, fast becoming “obsolete,” terms do not appear: ART, SCIENCE, BEAUTY, RELIGION, every ISM, ABSTRACTION, FORM, PLASTICITY, OBJECTIVITY, SUBJECTIVITY, OLD MASTERS, MODERN ART, PSYCHOANALYSIS, AESTHETICS, PICTORIAL PHOTOGRAPHY, DEMOCRACY, CEZANNE, “291,” PROHIBITION. The term TRUTH did creep in but may be kicked out by any one. (Statement in exhibition catalog, 1921) 
 As far as exhibitions are concerned, to me they are only of any meaning whatever if they are a public demonstration of a positive advance in or a summing up of the really genuine work that has been done in any field of work. Exhibitions, as exhibitions, to me, have always been an abomination, for, as a rule, they are nothing more than a marketplace for the mediocre or the parading ground for the stupid vanities of the small mind. (1910) 
 I was born in Hoboken. I am an American. Photography is my passion. The search for Truth is my obsession. (1921) 
 My own camera is of the simplest pattern and has never left me in the lurch, although it has had some tough handling in wind and storm… a shutter working at a speed of one-fourth to one-twenty-fifth of a second will answer all purposes. Microscopic sharpness is of no pictorial value. (1897) 
 When we go through an exhibition of American photographs, we are struck by the conventionality of the subjects chosen; we see the same types of country roads, of wood interiors, the everlasting waterfall, village scenes; we see the same groups at doorsteps and on piazzas; the same unfortunate attempts at illustrating popular poetry; the same etc., etc., ad infinitum. (1892) 
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