With the Edward Steichen collections, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is home to unique masterpieces of photographic art.
Edward J. Steichen (1879-1973) is a famous American photographer who was born in the Grand Duchy. As a tribute to his country of origin, he bequeathed collections of photographs to Luxembourg in his lifetime. Whereas the National Audiovisual Centre (Centre national de l'audiovisuel, CNA) safeguards th artists' two emblematic collections — 'The Bitter Years' and 'The Family of Man' —, the National Museum of History and Art (Musée National d'Histoire et d'Art, MNHA) exhibits the artists' own works.
Since 2012, the town of Dudelange has been home to the 'The Bitter Years, 1935-1941' collection, located in a specially converted former water tower (Waassertuerm). The collection presents a selection of images from the documentation produced between 1935 and 1943 by the FSA (Farm Security Administration) on rural America during the Great Depression.
'The Family of Man', listed in UNESCO's 'Memory of the World' Register, has attracted more than ten million visitors from all over the world since its creation in 1955, making it the most popular exhibition in the history of photography. The exhibition, housed in Clervaux Castle since 1994, focuses on the themes of love, life, and death.
In the collection of the National Museum of History and Art, it's the artist photographer himself who is honoured through a variety of his own personal works and ordered works. For conservation reasons, the collection of 178 photographs can be discovered through exhibition cycles of no more than twenty shots, one more reason to make regular trips to the museum.
The Contemporary Art Gallery 'Am Tunnel' of the State Savings Bank (Banque et Caisse d'épargne de l'Etat, BCEE) has a space dedicated to Edward Steichen. It hosts a permanent exhibition showing an excerpt from the BCEE's important collection of works signed Steichen.