Creative Composites: Modernism, Race, and the Stieglitz Circle

book cover
In turn-of-the-century New York, the photographer and modern art impresario Alfred Stieglitz and his allies embraced a racialized aesthetic discourse in their expressions of identity in the modern era. This book examines the often-neglected role played by immigrant artists and critics in the Stieglitz circle, including Japanese-German author Sadakichi Hartmann, Mexican-born caricaturist Marius de Zayas and English Sri-Lankan curator Ananda Coomaraswamy, as well as better-known U.S.-born painters, including Arthur Dove and Georgia O’Keeffe. Creative Composites argues for a new understanding of early American modernism as a “composite modernism.” It analyzes episodes in the Stieglitz circle’s use of diverse new media – photography, caricature, film, and collage – to frame their modernist practice as part of the ongoing national dilemma of integrating difference.
Publication date: 
September 6, 2012
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