Louis Stettner, Lake, New York State, 1952; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, purchase through a gift of Randi and Bob Fisher, Rusty O’Kelley and John Haskins, Champagne Louis Roederer, Sarah Wigglesworth and Asiff Hirji, The Sondra and Charles Gilman, Jr. Foundation, and the Accessions Committee Fund; © Estate of Louis Stettner, all rights reserved

Exhibition

Louis Stettner

Traveling Light

October 27, 2018–May 27, 2019

Floor 3

Over the course of his eight-decade career, Louis Stettner created a singular approach to photographing everyday life. Born in Brooklyn in 1922, Stettner began working as a photographer in the 1930s and served in the U.S. Army in World War II before moving to Paris in 1947. There, he studied at the Institut des Hautes Études Cinématographiques, became friends with the influential photographer Brassaï (whose work will be on view on Floor 3 from November 17, 2018–February 18, 2019), and developed a unique point of view that melded the boldness of American street photography with the softer humanism more characteristic of his Paris contemporaries. For the rest of his life, he traveled between New York and Paris — his “two loves,” as he called them — constantly finding new inspiration in that geographical duality. From thoughtful images of rush-hour commuters to tranquil observations of daily routines, this thematic retrospective displays the remarkable breadth of Stettner’s work.

Major support for Louis Stettner: Traveling Light is provided by Randi and Bob Fisher, Rusty O'Kelley and John Haskins, and Champagne Louis Roederer.

Generous support is provided by Sarah Wigglesworth and Asiff Hirji.

Additional support is provided by The Gilman and Gonzalez-Falla Arts Foundation.

Entry to this exhibition is included with general admission.

Header image:

Louis Stettner, Lake, New York State, 1952; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, purchase through a gift of Randi and Bob Fisher, Rusty O’Kelley and John Haskins, Champagne Louis Roederer, Sarah Wigglesworth and Asiff Hirji, The Sondra and Charles Gilman, Jr. Foundation, and the Accessions Committee Fund; © Estate of Louis Stettner, all rights reserved

Exhibition Preview

  • black and white photograph of lake with several row boats

    Louis Stettner, Lake, New York State, 1952; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, purchase through a gift of Randi and Bob Fisher, Rusty O’Kelley and John Haskins, Champagne Louis Roederer, Sarah Wigglesworth and Asiff Hirji, The Sondra and Charles Gilman, Jr. Foundation, and the Accessions Committee Fund; © Estate of Louis Stettner, all rights reserved

  • A man sitting on a bench with both of his arms behind it in front of manhattan skyline

    Louis Stettner, Brooklyn Promenade, Brooklyn, 1954; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, purchase through a gift of Randi and Bob Fisher, Rusty O’Kelley and John Haskins, Champagne Louis Roederer, Sarah Wigglesworth and Asiff Hirji, The Sondra and Charles Gilman, Jr. Foundation, and the Accessions Committee Fund; © Estate of Louis Stettner, all rights reserved

  • woman sitting in train station with eyes closed and a white glove

    Louis Stettner, Woman with White Glove, Penn Station, 1958; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, gift of the Estate of Louis Stettner; © Estate of Louis Stettner, all rights reserved