Lucky ducks.
  • Lucky ducks.
I'm up in the Seattle Room at the central library right now and happened to run into a meeting of Seattle U's History of Photography class, which I found out is here to take a look at something I had no idea was here: A full set (more or less) of Camera Work—the quarterly photography magazine that Alfred Stieglitz printed from 1903 to 1917. Wow!

Paul Strands New York, published in Camera Work in 1917.
  • Paul Strand's New York, published in Camera Work in 1917.
This magazine was Stieglitz's mouthpiece and an extension of his world-famous gallery—Stieglitz being the man who more than any other single force established photography as a fine art. The magazine published serious essays about photography and art (by Gertrude Stein, Mina Loy, and others), interviews with artists including Matisse and Rodin, and photogravures by early modernists (Stieglitz, Steichen, Cameron, Strand).

Seattle photo historian Bridget Nowlin tells me that somebody back in the day got Seattle Public Library a subscription to the magazine, and only a few issues were lost over the years. There were 50 numbered issues (53 came out, but three are not numbered). I don't know exactly how many were lost, but Nowlin says they're pretty much all here. The librarian at the desk says you just come in and ask to see them, and voila! He takes them out of their locked case for you. (Hours of the Seattle Room, on the 10th level, are Monday through Thursday, 11 am to 6 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 1 to 5 pm.)

Now how am I supposed to meet this deadline?

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