Starred Review. With his prodigious range, versatility and output, Edward Steichen casts a long shadow in 20th-century photography, and this lushly produced book assesses his legacy. Wending through Steichen's 70-year career, the book presents his early, impressionistic black-and-white nudes and portraits of luminaries such as Rodin as well as atmospheric still lives and editorial fashion shots for Vogue and Vanity Fair. Steichen experimented and excelled in every genre of photography and even his most commercial work shows more aesthetic consideration than product placement. The images are accompanied by insightful essays from a number of expert critics and curators, all of whom place Steichen in his proper context as one of the most influential and controversial artists of his time, alternately reviled as a parvenu and lauded as the Leonardo of photography. This book nimbly navigates divergent critical responses and brilliantly encapsulates the innovations and transformations of this pioneer of modern photography. (Apr.)
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William A. Ewing was Director of the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne from 1996 to 2010. His many publications on photography include The Body (1994), Face: The New Photographic Portrait (2006) and Arnold Newman: Masterclass (2012).