Books: Teaching a Century to See

STIEGLITZ: A MEMOIR/BIOGRAPHY by Sue Davidson Lowe; Farrar, Straus & Giroux; 456 pages; $25.50 ALFRED STIEGLITZ: PHOTOGRAPHS & WRITINGS; Callaway; 247 pages; $75

Exactly a century ago, a young American studying engineering in Berlin paid $7.50 for his first camera. His name was Alfred Stieglitz, and the centennial of that impulsive purchase is worth celebrating. For in the intervening years, Stieglitz did more than anyone else to elevate photography from a curiosity or hobby to a respectable member of the visual arts. He did so both by example (his pictures were instantly recognized as transcendent) and by precept (he lectured, hectored...

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