Published 1897–1903, Edited by Stieglitz 1897–1902
In 1896, when New York’s two leading amateur camera clubs merged to create the Camera Club of New York, Alfred Stieglitz saw the chance to improve the American discourse on “artistic” photography. He proposed that the club’s journal, which had until then contained mostly meeting notes and technical tips, be expanded “to take cognizance also of what is going on in the photographic world at large, to review new processes and consider new instruments and agents as they come into notice; in short to keep our members in touch with everything connected with the progress and elevation of photography.”
Under the new name of Camera Notes, the publication reviewed not only local exhibitions but national and international ones, and it featured discussions on both the practical aspects of taking pictures as well as the aesthetic considerations of the medium. Most notably, in addition to numerous half-tone reproductions of photographs, the journal published at least two high-quality photogravures in each issue. Under Stieglitz’s editorial leadership, the Camera Club would also publish two editions of American Pictorial Photography (in 1899 and 1901), a portfolio of mounted photogravures selected from plates featured in Camera Notes. Stieglitz intended the portfolios to exemplify “the most characteristic examples of the work of those Americans whose names are best known to the club or whose influence has been most pronounced on the development of pictorial photography in America.”
This new direction was welcomed by some, but others took issue with Stieglitz’s domination of the member-based organization. In 1902, after several power struggles, Stieglitz resigned his editorship of Camera Notes, going on to found the Photo-Secession and Camera Work within a year’s time. Centered around Stieglitz’s charismatic leadership, these later endeavors allowed him the freedom to realize his vision of photography’s artistic values.
 Publication Committee, [untitled], Camera Notes 1, 1 (July 1897), p. 3.