Carl Sandburg by Edward Steichen           Photo courtesy of Block Museum

Northwestern University’s Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art is one of three  American art museums that received an extraordinary gift from collectors Richard and Jackie Hollander: 142 vintage photographs by the great photographer Edward Steichen. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York also received Steichen photographs. The gift to the Block has been made in honor of Northwestern President Morton Schapiro and his wife, Mimi Schapiro.

Universally regarded as one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century, Edward Steichen (1879-1973) transformed the medium through his innovations in portrait, fashion, theater, horticultural and advertising photography. Richard and Jackie Hollander are believed to have held the largest collection of Steichen photographs in private hands. The photographs were purchased by the Hollanders directly from the estate of the artist and were printed by Mr. Steichen himself, giving the works a rare provenance.

In making the gift, Richard Hollander, chairman of Aristotle Capital Management, LLC, commented: “Presenting this gift to these three outstanding institutions across the United States represents our commitment to ensuring that these works have the greatest accessibility to the public across the nation, from coast to coast. Our hope is that this gift will provide an opportunity for students, art enthusiasts, and the general public to gain increased appreciation for Edward Steichen and to be inspired by his work.”

Lisa Corrin of the Block Museum said, “The gift from Richard and Jackie Hollander is transformative for the Block, which has steadily been building its photography collection. … Steichen was a pioneering figure who created a vocabulary of visual conventions that came to define ‘celebrity,’ ‘style,’ ‘leader,’ and ‘genius.’ This gift of 49 photographs will provide an excellent tool for critical discussions with students across fields of study about how such conventions continue to operate today.”