Lovers through the lens – auction’s photo archive recalls enduring modern love story

This simple study of a young woman, left, is testament to one of the great artistic love stories of modern times – the perfect Valentine’s gift: a c.1931 portrait of the photographer and writer Dorothy Norman by her mentor and long-time lover Alfred Stieglitz four years after they first met. Despite both being married to other people, they maintained their affair right up until Stieglitz died in 1946. The couple’s ardent devotion to each other is evident in other studies lotted with this portrait. Assessed by Stieglitz as ‘Perfect’, he wrote ILY (I love You) innumerable times around them and to the reverse, as can be seen. Stieglitz (1865-1946), married to the artist Georgia O’Keeffe, was 44 years older than Norman, and became her mentor in his role as a leading light of photography as an art form in the United States. He was also a pioneer of landscape

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