Edward Steichen: painter, photographer, modern art promoter, museum curator, exhibition creator—and delphinium breeder.
Yes, in addition to his groundbreaking career as a visual artist and museum professional, Steichen was also a renowned horticulturist. While he lived in France, the French Horticultural Society awarded him its gold medal in 1913, and he served as president of the American Delphinium Society from 1935 to 1939. In the early 1930s, after leaving his position as chief of photography for the Condé Nast publications—including Vogue and Vanity Fair—and more than 10 years before beginning his career as Director of the Department of Photography at MoMA, he retired to his Connecticut farm to raise flowers.
Among the delphinium breeds Steichen hybridized there were “Carl Sandburg,” named for his brother-in-law and close friend (and Nobel Prize–winning poet and author), and, in the 1960s, “Connecticut Yankees”…
In June 1936, MoMA presented its first and only dedicated flower show, Edward Steichen’s Delphiniums, which exhibited—for one week only—plants Steichen had raised and then trucked to the Museum’s galleries himself. (Read the original press release for the exhibition in MoMA’s online press archives.)
On verso of the Amon Carter Museum version (above this), there are a list of exhibitions and awards : Print, Verso: u.l. to c.r. in ink: Narcissus \ 1926 [sic] \ Exhibited \ Brooklyn Institute of Arts & Sciences \ Oct. 1922 [sic] \ Photographic Society of Philadelphia \ Chicago Camera Club. 1929 (Feb) \ Omaha Camera Club \ Photo Pictorialists of Milwauke [sic] 1929 \ California Camera Club May 1929 \ Camera Club of New York. Dec 1-15 1928 \ Hon. Mention 8th Annual Competition American Photography
Also, this additional information: u.c. on paper label: [printed]: A PHOTOGRAPH BY \ LAURA GILPIN \ SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO \ [typed]: A PLATINUM PRINT \ NARCISSUS \ 1928