Our twentieth anniversary Travel Poster sale can be summed up in one powerful, romantic word: trains. An extraordinary private collection of American railway posters, the best we’ve ever seen, includes a virtual history from the early years of the New York Central Lines to the Streamliner trains of the 1930s and 40s.
Bibliophiles of every denomination—Americana, autographs, art books, archives, atlases, ephemera, literature, maps—can find their niche at Swann Galleries. Originally founded in New York as a book auction house, we hold regular specialized sales devoted to books, printed material and manuscripts.
New York was waiting for Aaron Douglas, though no one knew just how much, including the artist himself. By the time he arrived in 1925 he had no idea what was waiting, not the lifetime of work and certainly not the eventual reputation as the Harlem Renaissance’s father of African-American art.
Old Master works include early tour-de-force impressions by Francisco José de Goya, Albrecht Dürer, Pieter Bruegel, Antonio da Canal, Il Canaletto and Giovanni B. Piranesi. Further highlights in the art of printmaking from the nineteenth through the twentieth century include works by European and American masters Thomas Hart Benton, Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí, Martin Lewis and Henri Matisse.
Our October 17 sale of Classic & Contemporary Photographs features an impressive selection of portraiture from the last two centuries. The most significant is Irving Penn’s 1960, printed 1978, platinum-palladium print, Cuzco Children. Here Daile Kaplan, the house’s Vice President and Director of Photographs & Photobooks, touches on Penn’s practice and the making of the image.
This auction traces the development of draftsmanship over several centuries from late-Gothic, early-Renaissance works of the fifteenth century, to Baroque and Rococo drawings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
A superb selection of images by African-American photographers is set to come across the block in our Fall 2019 sale of African-American Fine Art. Here we take a look at the offering that includes artists from the Harlem Renaissance through today.
Born in 1929, Vincent D. Smith was a Brooklyn native and innovative African-American artist. By the late 1950s, he incorporated various modern approaches into his figurative painting practice, including expressionism, collage, politically- and socially-conscious subject matter.
Describing himself as a “Rural Modernist,” McArthur Binion is known for his paintings that encapsulate both simplicity and complexity. Our Fall 2019 sale of African-American Fine Art on October 8 features a stunning mid-career work by Binion that captures his laborious technique and beckons the viewer in for a closer look.
Swann Galleries opened the fall 2019 season with an exceptional sale of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings featuring an auction debut for a rare early print by Martin Lewis and a record price for a print by Edvard Munch.
An extensive and detailed record of the Underground Railroad is set to come across the block in our upcoming sale of Printed & Manuscript Americana on September 26. Zachariah Taylor Shugart was a known agent of the Underground Railroad circa 1840-51.
A choice selection of incunabula brings to auction infrequently seen editions of Johannes Jacobus Canis’s 1476 guide to the study of civil and canon law; Albertus Magnus’s comprehensive lapidary De mineralibus, Pavia, 1491; and Philippus Beroaldus’s philosophical tract on happiness, De felicitate opusculum, Bologna, 1495.
Swann Galleries’ sale of 19th & 20th Century Prints & Drawings on September 19 features property from Betty and Douglas Duffy, of the Bethesda Art Gallery and highlights American printmakers such as Howard Cook, Thomas Hart Benton, Rockwell Kent and John Sloan.
With a proclivity to the grim, grisly and gruesome, Charles Addams walked through life illuminating its incongruous funny bones and sore spots. Here we discuss his contributions to The New Yorker and his famous kooky family.
Before being moved to its permanent home at the University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections, a choice selection of works from the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry—the most comprehensive collection of its kind—will be offered at Swann Galleries on October 10.
Norman Lewis was an Abstract Expressionist painter associated with The Irascibles who developed as a painter as the New York Modern Art scene grew. Here we discuss Lewis’s rise from the margins to art market center.
Featured photographers include: Walead Beshty, John Divola, Seydou Keïta, Richard Misrach, Vik Muniz, Andres Serrano and Joel Sternfeld. A headliner among the rare photobook offerings is a 1950s–1972 Edward Ruscha archive featuring a signed first edition of his Twentysix Gasoline Stations—as well as other signed artist’s books, a signed lithograph Have a Soup Souper Season, ephemeral material, and a Polaroid.
Remarkable firsts in unrestored dust jackets by Barnaby Ross, Owen Wister, Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, plus well-loved titles by Margaret Atwood, Toni Morrison and Kurt Vonnegut Vonnegut comprise this fall 2019 selection of literature.
At Swann, we’re lucky to contribute to an overall market correction, offering exceptional art by women of color, whose work on the themes of feminism and identity is increasingly being recognized by a more equitable marketplace.
Abstraction features heavily in our October 2019 sale of African-American Fine Art, including first-generation abstract expressionist Norman Lewis, alongside artists Sam Gilliam and Kenneth Victor Young of the Washington Color School.
Highlights this fall from the African-American Fine Art department: sculptures by Elizabeth Catlett, Sargent Johnson and Augusta Savage, iconic works by Carrie Mae Weems, paintings by Allan Rohan Crite, Henry Ossawa Tanner and Hughie Lee-Smith.
This fall, our Printed & Manuscript Americana auction will be held on September 26, and include manuscript diaries and important archives, ephemera relating to Stanford football, Gloria Steinem, the Underground Railroad and Mexico City.
This Prints & Drawings auction comes on September 19, 2019, and features mainstay American artists Edward Hopper, Martin Lewis, Howard Cook and George Bellows. European masters Georges Valmier, Pablo Picasso and M.C. Escher run alongside Latin American master Diego Rivera and Rufino Tamayo.
From the daguerreian age of the 1840s, photography has been an equal-opportunity pastime. One artist who truly pushed the envelope was Margaret Bourke-White (1904-1971), an ambitious photographer of many firsts.
“Every woman who wants to be beautiful should be beautiful” Among the many items up for auction in our June 20 Pride Sale, is an archive of personal effects of Candy Darling an enduring trans icon, American actress…
Auctions offer a moment where the sometimes-incalculable significance of an object is quantified. The price is reached through collaboration: specialists, consignors, the market, and finally, bidders convene in the room,…