During the first decades of the twentieth century, Stieglitz was central in promoting modern art in the United States, not only as a gallerist and publisher but also as an artist—a photographer—in his own right. He often made portraits of the artists who gathered around him as friends and colleagues. Here Stieglitz photographed the painter Charles Demuth, making his face, gaunt from illness, a surface for the play of light and shadow. Demuth greatly admired the portrait, writing to Stieglitz, "I think the head is one of the most beautiful things that I have ever known in the world or art."
Gallery label from American Modern: Hopper to O'Keeffe, August 17, 2013–January 26, 2014 .