Treated by Steichen
As Georgia O’Keeffe sorted through the photographs in Alfred Stieglitz’s estate in the late 1940s, she noticed many of his palladium prints were yellowing and looked stained. She turned to Edward Steichen, who was as inveterate a photographic experimenter as Stieglitz had been, to rejuvenate them. O’Keeffe wrote at the time, “Steichen does something to them that clears them and to me it seems a good thing to do . . . [they] are very much improved.” Doris Bry, O’Keeffe’s assistant, inscribed the phrase “Treated by Steichen” on the mats of these prints; she later noted that after Steichen’s treatment the prints looked “clear and fresh . . . newly made again.” Steichen remained silent about the details of his method, but the treated prints exhibit a rougher, occasionally cracked surface and lighter tone than the untreated ones, and over time they have begun to appear yellowed once more.
 Daniel Catton Rich to Georgia O’Keeffe, Jan. 30, 1950, Department of Photography, Art Institute of Chicago.
 Doris Bry, telephone conversation with Douglas Severson, Feb. 2, 1993. Cited in Douglas G. Severson, “‘Treated by Steichen’: The Palladium Prints of Alfred Stieglitz,” Art Institute of Chicago Museum Studies 31, 2 (2005), p. 111, n. 12.