Edward Jean Steichen was a Luxembourgish American photographer, painter, and curator, renowned as one of the most prolific and influential figures in the history of photography.
Steichen was credited with transforming photography into an art form. His photographs appeared in Alfred Stieglitz's groundbreaking magazine Camera Work more often than anyone else during its publication run from 1903 to 1917. Stieglitz hailed him as "the greatest photographer that ever lived".
As a pioneer of fashion photography, Steichen's gown images for the magazine Art et Décoration in 1911 were the first modern fashion photographs to be published. From 1923 to 1938, Steichen served as chief photographer for the Condé Nast magazines Vogue and Vanity Fair, while also working for many advertising agencies, including J. Walter Thompson. During these years, Steichen was regarded as the most popular and highest paid photographer in the world.
After the United States' entry into World War II, Steichen was invited by the United States Navy to serve as Director of the Naval Aviation Photographic Unit.