Edward Steichen was a key figure of twentieth-century photography, directing its development as a prominent photographer and influential curator.
Steichen was already an internationally celebrated painter and photographer when in 1923 he was offered a high-profile position as chief photographer at Condé Nast. During his time there, Steichen was said to have been the best known and highest paid photographer in the world. For the next fifteen years, Steichen would take full advantage of the resources and prestige conferred by his role to produce an oeuvre of unequalled brilliance. His work defined the culture of his time, capturing iconic figures in politics, literature, journalism, dance, theatre and, above all, the world of haute-couture.
Universally regarded as the first ‘modern’ fashion photographer, he was in fact originally appointed to take portraits of the great and the good that graced the pages of Vanity Fair. Seeing the effect these images had on the readership, he was persuaded to turn his attention towards the fashion pages in Vogue.