Verdex
Verdex
20 January, 23:08

291: Alfred Stieglitz's underrated avant-garde magazine

291: Alfred Stieglitz's underrated avant-garde magazine
At the height of the artistic avant-garde in 1915-1916. 291 literary magazine published in New York. Photographer and philanthropist Alfred Stieglitz, artist Marius de Zayas, journalist and collector Agnes Meyer and art critic Paul Hafilend were involved in the preparation and publication of materials. The magazine was supposed to be an advertisement to draw attention to the Stiglitz gallery "291", and today it is perceived as a separate work of art. Its pages featured visual poetry and essays by Francis Picabia, Max Jacob, John Marin and others.
At first it was planned to publish only two issues: one standard issue and one magazine on thick white paper in a limited edition of 100 copies. Both were printed in the format 50x30 cm. As a result, 12 issues were published, the last issue was published in February 1916. Each issue consists of 4-6 pages, the design is inspired by the magazine Les Soirées de Paris, published in France by Guillaume Apollinaire, famous for his calligrams.
Despite art theorist William Innes Homer calling 291 one of the most advanced publications of its time, the magazine sold very poorly. About 100 readers signed up for the regular version of the publication, while only 8 subscriptions were issued for the more expensive version. After the closure of the magazine, Stieglitz left hundreds of unsold copies, which the photographer got rid of for a measly penny, but today each issue is highly valued. So, in 2016, a complete set of 12 issues was sold for $52,000 at Swann Auction Galleries.

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