Spiritual America

Alfred Stieglitznegative 1923; print 1920s–1930s

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Alfred Stieglitz's views of photography began to shift dramatically after the First World War. Photographs were no longer simply a reflection of the subject depicted, but also an expression of the photographer's ideas. Stieglitz made this image of a harnessed and castrated horse as a metaphor for early-1920s America, which he perceived as materialist and culturally bankrupt. The animal's hind legs are framed to highlight its restrained muscular energy and the eradication of its sexual power.


  • Title: Spiritual America
  • Creator: Alfred Stieglitz
  • Date Created: negative 1923; print 1920s–1930s
  • Physical Dimensions: 11.5 × 9 cm (4 1/2 × 3 9/16 in.)
  • Type: Print
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Gelatin silver print
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 93.XM.25.12
  • Culture: American
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864 - 1946)
  • Classification: Photographs (Visual Works)

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