Art: The Trials of Sir Galahad

Pablo Picasso once took a look at a 1907 photograph by Alfred Stieglitz and exclaimed, "That man is working in the same direction I am!" Picasso spoke for the small group that had long realized that a great photographer is also a great artist. But one pesky question remains: Since even a bad or indifferent photographer—unlike a bad painter—can by accident produce a great picture, how much is art and how much is fortuitous subject matter? Last week, in Manhattan, the question was noisily reopened at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition of 176 photographs, a few of which are reproduced...

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