Title: PHOTOGRAPHIC LITERATURE & IMPORTANT PHOTOGRAPHS
Date: May 20, 2010
Time: 10:30 AM & 2:00PM
Exhibition: Sat., May. 15, 10-4
Mon., May 17, 10-6
Tues. May 18, 10-6
Wed., May 19, 10-6
Contact Person: Daile Kaplan
Among the top lots at Swann Galleries’ May 20 auction of Photographic Literature & Important Photographs were celebrated images by master photographers, including Edward Weston’s Nude (Charis), vintage silver print, 1935, which sold for $33,600; Imogen Cunningham’s Magnolia Blossom, silver print, 1925, printed late 1960s-early 1970s, $31,200; and Helmut Newton’s Rue Aubriot, Paris, silver print, 1975, $15,600.
Among contemporary works, William Eggleston’s Untitled (from “Graceland”), dye-transfer print, 1983, brought $10,800; Albert Watson’s Kate Moss, Marrakech, contact composite, oversize silver print, 1993, $10,200; Sally Mann’s Untitled (Antietam #16), oversized silver print, 2000-02, $21,600; and the stellar BAM [Brooklyn Academy of Music] Photography Portfolio, with 11 photographs by artists including Richard Avedon, Nan Goldin and Richard Prince, 2000, $18,000.
Diverse early examples included an album containing 49 albumen prints of old Japan by Felix Beato, 1872 or earlier, $26,400; and Pierre Pullis’s New York City, album with 50 platinum prints of the construction of the subway, 1900-1902, printed circa 1902, $19,200. There were two groups of circa 1903-1910 scientific studies by Wilson A. Bentley, comprising gold-chloride toned photomicrographs from glass plate negatives. Five images of frost studies realized $13,200, and five images of snow crystals, $10,800.
Among other intriguing group lots were a collection of 38 Farm Security Administration photographs by Dorothea Lange, silver prints, 1936-1939, printed circa 1970, $10,200; a binder containing 29 New York-related crime photographs, 1920s-1930s, $9,600; and three vibrant nature studies by Eliot Porter, dye-transfer prints, 1968-1974, $16,800.
Rounding out the Photographs session were orotones of Edward S. Curtis’s Three Chiefs, Piegan, 1900, and Canyon de Chelle, 1904, in their original frames, $9,600 each; Paul Strand’s Wall Street, New York, photogravure on Japan tissue from an issue of Camera Work, 1915, printed 1916, $9,000; André Kertész’s Melancholic Tulip, silver print, 1939, printed circa 1975, $9,600; Minor White’s Windowsill Daydreaming, Rochester, New York, silver print, 1958, printed 1975, $8,400; and Sabastiäo Salgado’s Brazil (Serra Pelada, Figure Eight), silver print, 1986, printed circa 1995, $9,600.
The photographic literature section of the sale featured Doris Ulmann’s Roll, Jordan, Roll, deluxe edition, signed and numbered by Ulmann and author Julia Peterkin, and with an extra photogravure plate signed by Ulmann, 1933, $28,800; Alexey Brodovitch’s Ballet, with text by Edwin Denby, illustrated with 104 photogravures, one of 500 copies signed and inscribed by Brodovitch, New York, 1945, $9,600; Gordon Matta-Clark, Walls Paper, signed and numbered limited edition, 1973, 6,720; and Sally Mann, edited by John Wood, platinum edition, one of 100 signed and numbered, issued with a print, 2005, $12,000.