Deborah Rogal’s Specialist Picks: 5 Photographs from the 70th Anniversary Sale

Armed with seven decades of photography history at her disposal, and nearly 20 years in the field, Swann photographs and photobooks director, Deborah Rogal, shares five of her favorite images from the February 10, 2022 sale celebrating the 70th anniversary of the first photography auction in the United States, held at Swann in 1952.

Julia Margaret Cameron

Lot 6: Julia Margaret Cameron, Baby Blossom (Portrait of Alice Keown), albumen print from a wet collodion negative, circa 1866. Estimate $15,000 to $25,000.

In the summer of 1865, Cameron began using larger format 15×12-inch glass negatives. She embarked upon a series of large-scale, close-up portraits, which she saw as a rejection of conventional photography in favor of a less precise but more emotionally compelling kind of portraiture. She wrote to Henry Cole that she intended this new series to “electrify you with delight and startle the world.” There are no other prints known of this portrait of Alice Keown. She was the daughter of Thomas Keown, and Cameron also photographed her sister Elizabeth and brother Percy. Alice was not known as Baby Blossom, so it is thought that perhaps Cameron took the title from Ida White’s recently published poem.

Laura Gilpin

Lot 66: Laura Gilpin, The Little Medicine Man, platinum print, 1932. Estimate $7,000 to $10,000.

Willy Ronis

Lot 100: Willy Ronis, Nuit au Châlet, silver print, 1935, printed 2006. Estimate $3,000 to $4,500.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Lot 111: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Nankin (Nanjing), ferrotyped silver print, 1949. Estimate $6,000 to $9,000.

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Sebastião Selgado

Lot 237: Sebastião Selgado, Brasil (Three Communion Girls), silver print, 1981, printed 1980s. Estimate $5,000 to $7,500.

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