By Bill Dobbins
http://www.billdobbinsphotography.com
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Georgia O’Keefe and Alfred Stieglitz had a long artistic collaboration and married life, although later on she lived mostly in New Mexico and they saw each other infrequently.

Alfred Stieglitz is one of the most iconic figure in the history of photography, instrumental in working to have photography recognized as a legitimate art and ardent supporter of both photographers and painters.  In his own work, he began as a pictorialist – that is, creating soft images intended to look a lot like paintings.  He later recognized the importance of a more realistic approach to make photos, that is taking advantage of the ability of photography to record things as they are, without any attempt to make them look “artsy.”

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Winter on Fifth Avenue – and early photograph by Alfred Stieglitz.
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A moody image of a steam train by Alfred Stieglitz.

Stieglitz created the magazine Camera Work which featured and championed photographers like realist Paul Strand and other contemporary photographers who had adopted a more modern style.

Wikipedia on Stiglitz:

Stieglitz considered himself an artist, but he refused to sell his photographs. His father purchased a small photography business for him so that he could earn a living in his chosen profession. Because he demanded high-quality images and paid his employee high wages, the Photochrome Engraving Company rarely made a profit.[8] He regularly wrote for The American Amateur Photographer magazine. He won awards for his photographs at exhibitions, including the joint exhibition of the Boston Camera Club, Photographic Society of Philadelphia and the Society of Amateur Photographers of New York.

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“Wall Street,” 1918 – abstract study in patterns by Paul Strand.
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Alfred Stieglitz championed photographers like Paul Strand who emphasize the unique abilities of photographs to record details of the real world. Photo by Paul Strand.

In late 1892, Stieglitz bought his first hand-held camera, a Folmer and Schwing 4×5 plate film camera,[8] which he used to take two of his best known images, Winter, Fifth Avenue and The Terminal. Prior to that he used an 8×10 plate film camera that required a tripod.

Stieglitz gained a reputation for his photography and his magazine articles about how photography is a form of art. In the spring of 1893, he became co-editor of The American Amateur Photographer. In order to avoid the appearance of bias in his opinions and because Photochrome was now printing the photogravures for the magazine, Stieglitz refused to draw a salary.[1] He wrote most of the articles and reviews in the magazine, and was known for both his technical and his critical content.

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Georgia O’Keefe was a young painter who came to New York to show her work to Alfred Stieglitz. They later married and he shot a very personal series of portraits of her, including nudes.

Georgia O’Keefe was a school teacher and painter working in Virginia, South Carolina and Texas.  She traveled to New York and showed her work to Stieglitz, who promoted painters as well as photographers.  They developed a relationship and she moved to New York Cilty in 1918.

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George O’Keefe, photo by Alfred Stieglitz
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George O’Keefe, photo by Alfred Stieglitz
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George O’Keefe, photo by Alfred Stieglitz

Wikipedia reports: They developed a professional relationship and a personal relationship that led to their marriage in 1924. O’Keeffe created many forms of abstract art, including close-ups of flowers, such as the Red Canna paintings, that many found to represent female genitalia,[4] although O’Keeffe consistently denied that intention.[citation needed] The reputation of the portrayal of women’s sexuality was also fueled by explicit and sensuous photographs that Stieglitz had taken and exhibited of O’Keeffe.

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George O’Keefe, photo by Alfred Stieglitz
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George O’Keefe, photo by Alfred Stieglitz
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George O’Keefe, photo by Alfred Stieglitz

Stieglitz began shooting an extensive portfolio of photos of O’Keefe, many of them nude, very mild by today’s standards but fairly controversial at the time.  These images represent the work of a photographer but also a man in love.  Unfortunately, this is not the right place to publish the nudes of Georgia O’Keefe, however innocent they are, but the photos Stiglitz did of Georgia are important historical documents when it comes to understanding the careers of both.

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Bill Dobbins Sarah Lyons dressing room-SMALL-1

 Bill Dobbins is a professional photographer, videographer and writer based in Los Angeles.  His work has been exhibited as fine art in two museums, a number of galleries, and he has published eight books, including two fine art photo books:

The Women: Photographs of The Top Female Bodybuilders (Artisan)
Modern Amazons (Taschen)

WEBSITES

BILL DOBBINS PHOTOGRAPHY
www.billdobbinsphotography.com

BILL DOBBINS ART
www.billdobbinsart.com

FEMALE PHYSIQUE SITES
www.billdobbins.com

EMAIL: billdobbinsphoto@gmail.com

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Georgia O’Keefe did a series of painting of flowers, which were considered highly sensual.
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Georgia O’Keefe’s later paintings featured views from her home in New Mexico.
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The marriage of Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keefe lasted many decades, even though they lived apart much of the time.
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Bill Dobbins
Bill Dobbins THE BODY PHOTOGAPHER became well known for his male and female physique photos - images of the aesthetic, athletic body. Using the same distinctive personal style, characterized by strong graphics and a classic look in both color and BW, Bill Dobbins has also developed a body of work featuring fashion, beauty and glamor photos In a world in which so many images create a level of "noise" that makes it hard for advertisers to be noticed, Bill's work cuts right through the confusion and grabs the eye. Bill has created two art photos books: The Women: Photographs of the Top Female Bodybuilders (Artisan) and Modern Amazons (Taschen) and his fine art work has appeared in two museums and several galleries. WEBSITES BILL DOBBINS PHOTOGRAPHY www.billdobbinsphotography.com BILL DOBBINS ART www.billdobbinsart.com THE FEMALE PHYSIQUE WEBZINE/GALLERY www.billdobbins.com EMAIL: billdobbinsphoto@gmail.com