Posted February 2013 in Advertising, New Additions
Perhaps as a final swan song to its illustrious editor, the final issue of the American Amateur Photographer in which Alfred Stieglitz was associated-December 1895-featured an actual gelatin-silver photograph by the American master. (1.)
But don’t get too excited. Unlike the exacting standards Stieglitz made in creating master prints from one of his own negatives, (often not exceeding one example) At Lake Como taken in 1887 was reproduced in several thousand examples for the issue. In fact, copy supplied by the paper manufacturer, the Nepera Chemical Company, inferred the simplicity involved in exposing the Velox paper it was printed on: “exposures were made by a boy unskilled or unacquainted with photography”.
From the collecting standpoint, especially by one of the medium’s greats, the print however is extremely rare, and is a continuation of the fascinating history of photographic marketing in which original prints were bound inside journals for the purpose of selling product, in this case the Velox brand. You can read more about the process of making this print here, and see the uncropped version.
For myself, the artist’s intent for At Lake Como is more fully realized- and unfaded- in another version seen below: a hand-pulled gravure reproduced in 1893.
1. Stieglitz however did appear as co-editor on the masthead of the American Amateur Photographer along with F.C. Beach for the final issue of January, 1896.