Auction Highlights: An American Century: The Collection of Dr. James & Debra Pearl & Fine Photographs — February 15, 2024

Edward Weston, Dunes, Oceano (White Dunes), silver print, 1936. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.

We are pleased to offer a special auction of 100 lots from the Collection of Dr. James and Debra Pearl. Rich in American masterworks, the collection features the premier photographers of the 19th-century American landscape such as Carleton Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge, and William Henry Jackson, as well as the 20th-century masters, including Ansel Adams, Irving Penn, and Edward Weston. We are featuring Richard Avedon’s exceptional portrait of Georgia O’Keeffe, as well as 6 of Irving Penn’s portraits from his Small Trades series, his portraits of Igor Stravinsky and Truman Capote, as well as imagery from Cuzco, including his iconic Cuzco Children, Peru (1948). Other highlights include Carleton Watkins’ The Domes from Yosemite Valley (1865-66; printed 1870s) and Mirror Lake and Mount Watkins, Yosemite (1861; printed 1870s), Eadweard Muybridge’s Pi-Wi-Ack, Valley of the Yosemite, Shower of Stars, Vernal Falls and Temple Peak (both 1872), Ansel Adams’ Clearing Winter Storm (1938; printed 1959-60) and Monolith, the Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park (1927; printed 1973-77), and Edward Weston’s rare and vintage Civilian Defense (1942) and Dunes, Oceano (White Dunes) (1936). This collection is a testament to the Pearls’ love and appreciation for the medium’s history as well as their understanding of photography’s unique and indelible beauty. 

The auction also includes numerous works for a multi-owner section, including Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Rue Mouffetard, Paris (1952; printed 1980s); Peter Hujar’s New York: Sixth Avenue (1976); Helmut Newton’s Rue Aubriot (i), Yves St. Laurent, Haute Couture CollectionParis (1975; printed 2000s); Andy Warhol’s Polaroid Self-portrait in Fright Wig (1986); Garry Winogrand’s eponymous portfolio (1960-74; printed 1978); and a stunning oversized Ruth Bernhard Nude in the Box – Horizontal (1962; printed 1992), among much more. 

Irving Penn, Deep Sea Diver, New York, from the Small Trades series, silver print, 1951. $20,000 to $30,000.
Richard Avedon, Portrait of the artist Georgia O’Keeffe, silver print, 1958. $30,000 to $50,000.
Carleton E. Watkins, Mirror Lake and Mount Watkins, Yosemite, mammoth albumen print, 1861; printed 1870s. Estimate $7,000 to $10,000.
Irving Penn, Breton Onion Seller, London, from the Small Trades series, silver print, 1950. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.

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