Luxembourg 1879 — 1973 New York
At his death, two days shy of ninety-four, Steichen was a legendary figure in twentieth-century American art. In addition to being an artist, he directed the Department of Photography at New York’s Museum of Modern Art from 1947 through 1962. His landmark exhibitions of historical and contemporary work contributed to photography’s being recognized as a legitimate form for art. He pioneered fashion photography as well as “straight” images. His relationship with artist, gallerist, and theorist Alfred Stieglitz in New York was important for them both. Along with his extensive international honors, in 1963 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.