HE WAS A KEY FIGURE OF 20TH CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHY AND HIS TRAINING AS A PAINTER PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE IN THE SUCCESS OF HIS PHOTOGRAPHIC CAREER. HE EMBRACED A SLEEK, MODERNIST AESTHETIC, WHICH IS REFLECTED THROUGHOUT THE ICONIC FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS HE TOOK WHILE WORKING AT VANITY FAIR AND VOGUE AND WAS CREDITED WITH TRANSFORMING PHOTOGRAPHY INTO AN ART FORM. BUT IT WAS HIS PORTRAITS OF THE STARS OF STAGE AND SCREEN THAT GAINED HIM RENOWN AS A BRILLIANT PORTRATIST, INCLUDING HIS MANY PORTRAITS OF LILLIAN GISH, THE AMERICAN ACTOR, DIRECTOR AND SCREENWRITER, MENTIONED IN THIS LETTER AND SEEN WITH HIM IN THE ACCOMPANYING ORIGINAL VINTAGE 8 X 10 SILVER GELATIN PHOTOGRAPH.
EDWARD STEICHEN (1879-1973) TYPED LETTER SIGNED, “Edward Steichen”, on his personal letterhead, 8.5 x 11, West Redding, Conn., March 9, 1967, to Mr. Waldo E. McNaught (they served together in the Navy), Public Relations, General Motors Corporation, by the Luxembourgish American photographer, painter, and curator at the Museum of Modern Art. In the letter Steichen thanks McNaught for “the prints of Miss Gish and for your long friendly memory. As far as health is concerned I am doing all right for an old buzzard [here he inserts the handwritten “88 years”] and I assume that yours is good also….” The letter is in fine condition and the photograph has moderate wear and a couple of creases.