Segments in this Video

Credits: A Conversation with Edward Steichen—From NBC’s Wisdom Series (00:57)


Credits: A Conversation with Edward Steichen—From NBC’s Wisdom Series.

Beginning of Modern Art in America (03:06)

Edward Steichen moved to Europe to discover new forms of art. A new movement occurs and modern art attracts attention; Steichen's interest gets deeper.

Precision in Photography (03:52)

Edward Steichen shares his feelings on war, armistice, and his art. He no longer feels he belongs to the world of painting and locks himself away to re-apprentice himself to photography.

Photography Becomes Second Nature (02:08)

Edward Steichen photographs a cup and saucer over 1,000 times. He no longer has to "think" about photography. Vanity Fair calls him the world's greatest photographer who gave up photos for painting.

Inspiration, Actors, and Photography (03:04)

Edward Steichen discusses the challenges of photographing actors. He shares his approach to photographing Charlie Chaplin. The conversation continues through 14 seconds of black screen at end of clip (copyright).

Edward Steichen on the Movement for Color Photography (02:21)

Edward Steichen explains his sense of dissatisfaction that meant the beginning of a change. He felt he was repeating himself, so he "retired." He began experimenting with "dis-correcting" color.

Photographing War (03:27)

Edward Steichen becomes emotional discussing World War II. He felt if war could be adequately photographed, it would be a deterrent for war. He discusses Civil War photographer Mathew Brady's work.

Edward Steichen--Always Unsatisfied (03:44)

Steichen discusses his years at MoMA after the war. He aimed to open up new horizons--showcasing all dimensions of photography. This culminated in the "Family of Man" exhibit.

Oneness (02:47)

Steichen says bigotry, intolerance, hate and fear must be used as accents to bring up the beauty of the positive side of things. He says our misunderstanding of life is a greater danger than the atomic bomb--we must embrace our oneness.

Love & Faith in Mankind (03:16)

Steichen says love is the same all over the world. We must embrace the ways we are alike. He says great optimism has enabled us to survive and we must have faith in love.

Credits: A Conversation with Edward Steichen—From NBC's Wisdom Series (00:09)

Credits: A Conversation with Edward Steichen—From NBC's Wisdom Series

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A Conversation with Edward Steichen—From NBC's Wisdom Series

Part of the Series : The Wisdom Series: From the NBC Archives
DVD Price: $129.95
DVD + 3-Year Streaming Price: $194.93
3-Year Streaming Price: $129.95



In this archival NBC program, Edward Steichen—renowned American photographer and curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art—sits for a 1955 interview coinciding with his exhibit entitled “Family of Man” and the museum’s 25th anniversary. The conversation takes place in a workroom at the museum. Steichen reflects on his career, which focused on painting for several years until he branched into photography. He describes sitting in his studio outside Paris in 1920 and seeing a copy of one of his paintings, made by a gardener. Believing the copy to be superior, he then devoted himself to the camera and set about shooting still life setups until he had mastered light and shadow. Additionally, Steichen shares his thoughts on war photography and his beliefs about the human experience, which led to “Family of Man.” (29 minutes)

Length: 30 minutes

Item#: BVL43389

ISBN: 978-1-61733-459-7

Copyright date: ©1955

Closed Captioned

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Only available in USA and Canada.