Photographs & Photobooks

On February 14, 1952, Swann Galleries held the first auction in the U.S. dedicated to photography. The department remains committed to innovation in the medium by introducing new genres, including the first sales dedicated to photobooks and vernacular photographs in 2006 and 2014, respectively.

With more combined years of experience than any equivalent division in a major auction house, the seasoned team specializes in classical and contemporary works by master fine art photographers, as well as photographs that employ alternative and antiquarian processes, including daguerreotypes and tintypes. The department considers the photobook a foundational component of fine art photography, and offers a range of rare and limited titles each season. We also offer vernacular photographs, including snapshots, travel albums, industrial surveys, crime photography and documentary typologies.

The top lot in the department’s history is the complete set of Edward S. Curtis’s The North American Indian, which sold for $1,440,000 in October 2012. Other highlights include Ansel Adam’s Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, in December 2009 for $360,000, and Julia Margaret Cameron’s Portrait of Kate Keown for $106,250 in October 2016.


Deborah Rogal

(212) 254-4710 ext. 55

Jessica Hunter

(212) 254-4710 ext. 66

Department ScheduleSee Past Auctions

Jan 27

The Artists of the WPA

Sale 2593
Consignment Deadline: December 3 — Submit Material

Feb 10

Fine Photographs: Celebrating 70 Years of Photographs at Swann

Sale 2594
This special auction marks the 70th anniversary of The Marshall Sale, the first auction dedicated photographs in the United States, held at Swann in 1952. Consignment Deadline: December 8 — Submit Material

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