34. Untitled [Vaux], 1918/19

Gelatin silver print
Gift of William Kistler, 1977.710

Photographs taken from oblique angles such as this documented the aftermath of battles, served as evidence that a bomb had hit its target, and, just as important, heroized military efforts. Steichen considered all photographs taken throughout the war to be equally significant, as they chronicled “every human effort and all the amazing ingenuity employed in digging, blasting, and fighting,” and acted as “the chief recorder of what was accomplished and how it was accomplished.”[1]

Printed recto, on album page, lower right, in black ink: “Photographic Section. / Air Service. American Expeditionary Forces.”; inscribed recto, on album page, lower right, in blue ink: “34”; unmarked verso

[1] Edward Steichen, “The Photographic Section, Air Service, A.E.F.,” in Gorrell’s History of the American Expeditionary Forces Air Service, 1917–1919, series A, vol. 16, compiled by Colonel Edgar S. Gorrell (War Department, American Expeditionary Forces, 1918–19, reprinted by National Archives and Record Service, 1974), p. 10.