This is the first significant Australian showing of Alfred Stieglitz's work and contains more than 150 of the finest prints of his photos. Alfred Stieglitz is important in a way that's kind of hard to explain. That's partly because he did so many different things as a photographer and partly because his influence on subsequent technical and aesthetic practices has been so pervasive.
He termed his approach 'straight photography' and intended it to portray and convey its subjects in ways that were uniquely photographic rather than imitative of other media. Stieglitz created an identity for photography as an independent art form in the American context, an art form with expressive 'equivalents' to painting or music or drama. He also created a particularly American imagery in the visual vocabulary of his medium. His pictures of New York in the 1930s show the scaffolds of skyscrapers begun in the '20s; the skies he so often captured are met by huge frontier horizons.
Stieglitz was also a modernist of the highest order, photographing not only Duchamp but one of the most-used images of his Fountain. He was married to Georgia O'Keeffe and took just a few photos of her, roomfuls of which you'll see alongside the country and cityscapes, the skies and the pictures of people who adored him. Make sure you say something about the apples as symbols of American spirituality and/or the prominence of hands in the portraits and/or the sexual innuendo about one of those things. Bonus points for all three: it's what multitasking Alfred would have wanted.