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Edward Steichen. The Luxembourg Bequest

In March 1985, the National Museum of Luxembourg unexpectedly received a generous bequest from the estate of Edward Steichen, the Luxembourg-born and world-renowned American photographer. The bequest comprises a total of 178 prints, including 175 photographs by Steichen himself that cover almost all aspects of his photographic oeuvre – from the pictorialist images of his early years to portraiture, fashion, advertising, landscapes, and family photographs.

For the first time, this extraordinary collection is presented in a comprehensive scholarly manner, with full-page illustrations of all 178 photographs. In addition, the publication includes six new essays by five authors that deal with questions of identification, techniques, and dating of the prints as well as their conservation and preservation. They examine the provenance and impact history of the collection and compare the significance of the Luxembourg donation with other bequests made at the same time to institutions in the United States and overseas. The significance of the astonishingly large number of family photographs in the Luxembourg bequest and Steichen’s special role as a mediator of Modernism between Europe and the New World are also explored.


"With the publication of the present catalog, the MNHA is fulfilling a long outstanding debt to both Edward Steichen himself and his estate. Each photograph of the bequest is accompanied by a text as well as the transcription of all inscriptions, allowing both professionals and photography enthusiasts to discover the qualitatively and quantitatively outstanding collection in all its detail."

Michel Polfer, director of the National Museum of History and Art, Luxembourg (MNHA)

EDWARD STEICHEN
THE LUXEMBOURG BEQUEST

edited by
Michel Polfer and Gilles Zeimet

Authors: Kerstin Bartels, Gerd Hurm, Julia Niewind, Malgorzata Nowara, Michel Polfer, Françoise Poos, Gilles Zeimet

Language: English

Binding: Hardcover (24,50 x 30 cm), 464 pages, 580 illustrations

Publication: Silvana Editoriale, 2022

ISBN: 9788836651559

Price: 60 €

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SUMMARY

The Steichen Prints of the National Museum of History and Art Luxembourg
Provenance and Reception of an Extraordinary Collection
Michel Polfer

The Identification, Conservation, and Preservation of the Photographs for the MNHA’s Edward Steichen Collection: A Unique Project
Kerstin Bartels

The MNHA Bequest in Relation to Other Steichen Bequests Around the World: Number, Origin, and Subjects
Malgorzata Nowara

The Prints from the MNHA’s Steichen Bequest: Techniques, Dating, and Inscriptions
Malgorzata Nowara

Edward Steichen: The “Lëtzebuerger Jong” who Brought Modernism to the New World
Gerd Hurm

At Home in the Museum: Edward Steichen’s Family Photographs at the National Museum of History and Art
Françoise Poos

CATALOG
Julia Niewind & Gilles Zeimet

Introduction
01 -- Early Landscapes
02 -- Rodin’s Balzac
03 -- Family
04 -- Portraits
05 -- Nudes
06 -- Theater
07 -- Advertising & Fashion
08 -- Experiments
09 -- Nature
10 -- Color
11 -- Other Photographers

Reference Literature