Sharp, Clear Pictures: Edward Steichen's World War I and Condé Nast Years

Edward Steichen (American, born Luxembourg, 1879–1973) was one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century—a pioneering champion of art photography and an innovator of fashion and commercial photography. Lesser known, however, is his important role in World War I, as chief of the Photographic Section of the American Expeditionary Forces from 1917 to 1919.

This website, which includes works drawn from the Art Institute’s collection, reveals the profound influence Steichen had on various photographic fields. Featured is a unique album of World War I aerial photographs assembled and annotated by Steichen in 1919 following his military discharge.

Click the links below to explore the album and Steichen’s career before, during, and after World War I.