Photography became an art largely due to the efforts of Alfred Stieglitz. In the early 20th century, Stieglitz used his influence to bolster support that photography was an art, which eventually led to him being the first photographer featured in a museum.
In 1885, an art movement called Pictorialisim began, where a photographer would manipulate photographs with chemicals to change the way they looked. However, the public desired photographs that were sharply focused, and the movement ended in 1920. Stieglitz was a large contributor during those times and lobbied his position through his work. Finally, in 1924, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts obtained a collection of 27 of his photographs, recognizing photography as a major artistic medium.