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'alabama tenant farmer' (floyd burroughs)

On a modern mount, the photographer's 'Box 310, Rte. 3, Old Lyme, Conn. 06371' studio stamp, Lunn Gallery stamp numbered 'II' and '83,' reproduction rights stamps, and annotated 'please return the print to,' possibly by the photographer, and 'MoMA 83' in an unidentified hand in pencil on a section of the original mount affixed to the reverse, matted, 1936 This image of the Alabama farmer Floyd Burroughs was reproduced in both the first edition of Walker Evans’s and James Agee’s volume Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, published in 1941, as well as in the second of 1960.  This now classic book describes, in words and photographs, the daily lives of the families of three tenant farmers, Floyd Burroughs, Frank Tingle, and Bud Fields.  All three men were cotton farmers, all loosely related, and worked land adjacent to one another in Alabama’s Hale County.  The portrait of Floyd Burroughs offered here, and that of his wife, Allie Mae (see Lot 57), are two of the definitive images in the book. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men began with an assignment for Fortune magazine.  During the hardest years of the Depression, Fortune ran a number of articles on the life and circumstances of the working class.  For the fourth article in the series, James Agee was assigned to document the lives of Southern cotton tenant farmers.  Agee, excited by the prospect of returning to his native south, took the assignment and arranged for Evans to come along as his photographer.  In the fall of 1936 the article was submitted to Fortune and promptly rejected by the editors.  Not to be discouraged, Evans searched for a publisher, and Agee continued to write, the text growing to book size.  After five years, the book was published by Houghton Mifflin to much critical success, but lackluster sales.  It was not until after Agee’s death, in 1955, and his posthumously-awarded Pulitzer Prize for A Death in the Family, that the book was republished and hailed for its detailed and unsparing portrayal of Southern life during the Depression.

  • USAUSA
  • 2006-02-15
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January

Richard Lin oil and aluminium on canvas Executed in 1970. “White is the most ordinary of colours, it is also the most extraordinary; it is the absence of colour, it is also the sum of colours; it is the most majestic of colors, it is also the most common; it is the colour of tranquility, it is also the colour of grief.” — Richard LinBorn into a prominent Taiwanese family in central Taiwan, Richard Lin left his hometown at the age of 16 to study in Hong Kong in 1949. In 1954, two years after arriving in England, Lin was accepted at the Regent Street Polytechnic to study architecture and art. After completing his studies, Lin chose to remain in London, where he continued to develop his art for over five decades; it was not until 2002 that Lin returned to Taiwan. His works are often categorised as minimalistic, however, he once remarked that “when I started to create the white series, the term ‘Minimalism’ was not yet coined.” Founded in the the post-war era of the sixties, Minimalism began as a response to Abstract Expressionism, which had dominated the fifties’ art scene. The Minimalists believed practitioners of Abstract Expressionism were guilty of an excessive sentimentality and proposed to eradicate the artworks’ lyricism. Using simple forms and emphasising the expression of two-dimensional space, the new school of thought allowed viewers to perceive work in a direct and authentic manner. By employing straightforward quadrilateral shapes, stripes, or cubes, Minimalists strove to express and compose their work using correct proportions and involving minimum incidents. Additionally, they avoided the use of concrete forms in an attempt to eliminate transferring their consciousness to the viewer. The Minimalists used tools such as repetition and equal distribution to focus on a pure and artistic development while minimising personal expression. Ultimately, their aim was to lead art back to its fundamental form; by restricting the artist’s imposition of their consciousness upon viewers, Minimalists believed viewers might once again be able to take an active part in the construction of the work. The influence of Minimalism goes far beyond the art of painting, sculpture, and installation; it has also made an irrevocable impact on architecture, design, music, and literature. Lin first saw the works of British artist, Ben Nicholson (1894-1982) while visiting the Tate Modern upon his arrival in London in the beginning of 1952. Nicholson’s abstract compositions had a lasting influence on Lin. As a child, Lin learned the art of Chinese calligraphy, and between the ages of 6 and 12, he was placed under the tutelage of a family in Japan. Lin’s early immersion in Eastern culture cemented his way of thinking. During his time in England, he studied Western architecture and painting, and was influenced by the major artistic movements in the sixties and seventies — such as De Stijl (of which Mondrian is the most well-known), Bauhaus, Cubism, and Constructivism. Triggered by the American Abstract Expressionist movement, and with his idea of art informed by both East and West, Lin began to meditate on his own cultural background.Lin began creating art in the late fifties from the ideals of an Abstract Expressionist. In 1958, he began layering blocks of black and white on canvas to compare and contrast darkness and light. In the sixties, he simplified the elements of his creation; he made use of more precise lines and gradually abstained from color until white was all that remained. This period marks the establishment of Lin’s artistic style and the birth of his most iconic series — the White Series. He continued to develop this series until he declared in 1984 that ‘painting is dead,’ then turned his focus to three dimensional arts. When observing Lin’s work, one sees undeniable elements of Minimalism. His work departs from representational forms, using only lines and squares to create a precise and rational composition; and his execution is so meticulous and careful that brushstrokes are undetectable. However, Lin’s work is readily distinguishable from other minimalist works. One distinctive characteristic of Lin’s art is his multitudinous use of whites — rich or diluted, heavy or light — which he applies in lines of varying length and width. He then pairs aluminum plates and the occasional, yet ingenious, strokes of red, yellow, gray, and black. Lin does not necessarily abide by the standards of Minimalism — he is not regulated by the purely logical use of geometrical shapes, nor is he insistent upon removing all emotion or denouncing lyricism. In Lin’s paintings, we see a greater energy; we feel presence within absence, and we perceive a fluid sensibility that flows beneath the surface of the rational composition.In 1970, during one of Lin’s solo exhibitions in Belgium, the artist and the gallery’s owner, Rene Withofs, had a discussion about the work. The rigorous and succinct paintings, Lin stated, were deeply rooted in Eastern culture and invoked the fluidity and vigour so valued in the art of calligraphy. When Withofs interpreted Lin’s work as an embodiment of Zen, Lin clarified that it was instead Taoist. Further, Lin offered that instead of categorising his work as Minimalist, it would be more analogous to the work of Northern Song Dynasty artist, Mi Fu (1051-1107). Having received his training in Europe, Lin’s work takes on the appearance of Western art, but its true meaning and fundamental aesthetics are entirely Eastern. Despite the work’s external, minimalist qualities, Lin stressed that his practice was more sympathetic with Mi Fu. Lin maintained that this Song Dynasty master’s abstract landscapes, created some nine centuries ago, resonated more deeply with his work in their illustration of the difference between seeing with one’s eyes and perceiving with one’s spirituality. In a catalogue for Lin’s 2010 exhibition at the Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, the artist wrote the following words to reflect on his half-century-long artistic career: ’What is before us? There are not enough words to describe and no words to do so aptly. Anything can be something; there is no difference between anything, and anything is everything.’ These words perfectly elucidated the fundamental meaning of Lin’s art. Chinese painting differs from Western painting in that it does not concentrate on the techniques of focal points and perspective; instead, through the utilisation of ink’s wetness and dryness — its richness and diluteness — artists are able to create works that transcend time and space. Chinese aesthetics heavily emphasize a spirit and concept that cannot be seen, but only perceived. In Lin’s art, we perceive a unique artistic language, born from an amalgamation of Eastern and Western culture.

  • HKGHong Kong SAR China
  • 2018-05-27
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'breast'

Platinum print, tipped to a large tan mount, signed, titled, and dated by the photographer in pencil on the mount, inscribed '35' (crossed out) and '10.00' by the photographer in pencil on the reverse, framed, a Gerald Peters Gallery label on the reverse, 1922 This photograph was originally acquired from Weston by O. G. Jones, a concrete contractor in Southern California who was introduced to Weston in the early 1920s by their mutual friend, Ramiel McGehee.  When Weston told Jones that he was interested in photographing industrial sites, Jones arranged access for Weston to photograph several of the factories that he had helped construct.  Plaster Works (Conger 177), from 1925, is perhaps the best known of the resulting images.  Also in 1925, Weston made striking, modernist portraits of Jones (cf. Christie’s New York, 30 October 1989, Lot 575).  Jones remained friends with Weston, visiting him in Glendale and later in Carmel, buying prints from the perennially straitened photographer. Jones ultimately built an impressive collection of Weston’s work, including a number of the photographer’s industrial images, Pepper (2P), and the rare platinum print of Breast offered here.  These photographs were sold in the above-listed auction at Butterfield & Butterfield in 1984.  Weston's portraits of Jones are now in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum. Modern and unsentimental, Breast marks an abrupt departure in Weston's work from his heretofore Pictorial approach to nude studies.  While the focus in the image is somewhat soft, this nude possesses a straightforward physicality that had not been seen before in Weston's nudes.  The model for Breast is the same as that in another nude study, Refracted Sunlight on Torso (Conger 81), made during the same sitting in 1922.  Weston later recounted the unusual events surrounding the making of these two images to Nancy Newhall, who wrote: 'One day in 1922, a woman he did not know telephoned for a sitting.  Would he photograph her nude?  Considerably astonished, Edward said yes.  The woman came.  Perhaps the strangeness of the encounter sharpened his seeing' (quoted in Conger 81, note). Weston first photographed the woman positioned against a blank wall, with streaks of sunlight crossing her torso.  He then repositioned the woman, using the panes of a window as the background.  'Yet,' Newhall continues, 'as though the lyric nude marked the end of a way of seeing then, Edward found in the ground glass during the same strange sitting a close-up prophetic of his seeing for the past 12 years -- column of arm, hinge of shoulder, hemisphere of breast.  Flesh no longer is incorporeal; it has weight, it has form, volume, dynamics' (ibid.). Conger locates three prints of this image, all in institutional collections.  The George Eastman House has a non-vintage gelatin silver print made by the photographer's son, Brett, in 1953; the Museo Regional de Guadalajara, Mexico, has what is likely a vintage platinum print, perhaps purchased by the museum from Weston's exhibition there in 1925; and the Special Collections of the University of California, Santa Cruz, has a Project Print.  Additionally, there is a vintage platinum print of this image in a private collection.

  • USAUSA
  • 2004-04-27
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Elvis Presley 1974 Stage-Worn "Peacock" Jumpsuit

A centerpiece of our auction is this spectacular, beautifully appointed, concert-worn jumpsuit, nick-named the "peacock," worn by Elvis Presley extensively during a five-month stretch in 1974. Our research indicates that Elvis performed in the peacock jumpsuit for the first time during his matinee performance at the Forum in Los Angeles on May 11, 1974. It is quite likely that he took delivery of the peacock jumpsuit outfit that very day, as it was tailored expressly for Presley by Bill Belew, the renowned Los Angeles based designer. Belew, the man responsible for creating Presley's entire stage wardrobe between 1968 and 1977, beginning with the memorable black leather outfit and white suit worn by Presley on his 1968 comeback special, "Elvis," on NBC, was based in Hollywood with I.C. Costumes at the time. Presley kicked off his tour a day prior to the Forum appearance in nearby San Bernardino; the peacock making its debut at the evening Forum performance. Our research indicates that the peacock jumpsuit, said to be Elvis' favorite among all the fabulously ornate Belew creations, was concert worn nearly twice as often as any of the eleven different jumpsuits worn by Presley during the May to October tour; more than a dozen times in cities nationwide and, most likely, another dozen or more times during multi-week stands in Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas. The peacock made its final documented appearance in San Antonio on October 8; the tour ending a week later in Lake Tahoe. After a five-month respite from touring, an entirely new and equally flamboyant, Belew designed wardrobe was unveiled for The King's adoring audiences in March 1975. Elvis Presley's onstage persona is undeniably defined by Bill Belew's stunning designs worn by the King of Rock & Roll throughout the final decade of his life. Presley himself humorously quipped in 1970, "If the songs don't go over, we can do a medley of costumes." Only a few of the nearly 125 outfits designed by Belew for Presley have appeared on the collector's market since Presley's death; the "peacock," by far being the most desirable. The "peacock," of course, is the most glaring omission from the enormous Graceland collection. The one-piece, zippered jumpsuit is appointed with a heavily chain-stitched, rhinestone bejeweled peacock design on the front and back with tail feathers tapering off as they cascade down the entire length of the legs that flare at the bottom. The tailoring label reads "I.C. Costume Co. Hollywood, Ca." The most expensive of all of the Belew creations, the cost of the garment was $10,000. The jumpsuit is in excellent condition; the zipper in need of repair. Presley can be seen wearing the peacock jumpsuit on the cover of his 1975 album and single "Promised Land." Extensive photographic and filmed documentation exists of Elvis wearing the peacock jumpsuit. One of several websites exhibiting photos of the peacock jumpsuit being worn by Elvis onstage is: www.elvisconcerts.com. Estimate $275,000-$325,000.

  • USAUSA
  • 2008-08-06
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'the pool -- evening: a symphony to a race and to a soul'

Platinum print, with hand-applied ink border, mounted to gray paper, mounted again to a large sheet of heavy buff paper, with the photographer's elongated, stylized monogram and titled by him in pencil on the mount, 1899; accompanied by a backboard from an earlier frame, with a Montreal Museum of Fine Arts exhibition label and a Gilman Paper Company label on the reverse ‘The Pool---Evening: A Symphony to a Race and to a Soul’ is one of the photographer’s earliest significant landscape photographs, made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, when he was only twenty years old.  This lyrical study of woods at twilight was one of  Steichen’s first photographs to be included in competitive salons, one of his first to be published, and one of a select group of only three to be purchased by Alfred Stieglitz upon the occasion of his first meeting with Steichen in New York City in 1900.  The print of this image purchased by Stieglitz is now in the Art Institute of Chicago, and is inscribed on the reverse in Stieglitz’s hand, ‘Steichen’s first “Masterpiece.”’  The woods at twilight or evening is a theme that would occupy Steichen for the next two decades.  The ‘Pool—Evening’ belongs to a group of early woodland studies made by Steichen near his family’s Milwaukee home.  These photographs, reproduced in Naef 451 and 452, A Life in Photography, pls. 9–12, and Longwell, The Master Prints, pls. 3, 5, 6, and 7, show Steichen’s stated affinity for ‘chiefly landscapes, the woods at twilight and dusk, that appealed to [him]’ in his early artistic career.   Apprenticed to a lithographic firm as a teenager, the precocious Steichen was a talented draftsman who taught himself photography, first as an aid to his graphic work and later as an end in itself.   Keenly interested in painting and the world of ‘art’ that lay beyond the confines of Wisconsin, Steichen brought a painter’s ambition to his subjects.  From an early age, he had followed, as best he could, developments in the art world through the picture magazines in the local library:  ‘The Pool’ shows his awareness of trends both in contemporary Pictorial photography and painting, all gleaned from the reproductions in the art and photography journals of the time. As he stated in an oft-quoted sentence from his autobiography, ‘I was an “impressionist” without knowing it.’ The ‘Pool—Evening’ and its related studies are a testament not only to Steichen’s natural gifts for composition and design, but his innate ability to transform the seemingly ordinary into artistic statements of great flair and beauty.   He would use this gift for transformation throughout his long and varied career, from his earliest Pictorial experiments, to his first important portrait commissions, and then to his extensive body of popular photographs of the myriad personalities he portrayed for Condé Nast.  ‘The Pool—Evening,’ as he later wrote in his autobiography, ‘was, in fact, a picture of a puddle of water with mud clots protruding.’  The woods lay at the end of a Milwaukee streetcar line, and as Steichen wrote, ‘These became my stamping grounds, especially during autumn, winter, and early spring.  They were particularly appealing on gray or misty days, or very late in the afternoon and at twilight.  Under those conditions, the woods had moods, and the moods aroused emotional reactions that I tried to render in photographs. . . The haunting, elusive quality of twilight excited in me an emotion that I felt compelled to evoke in the images I was making.  Emotional reaction to the qualities of places, things, and people became the principal goal in my photography’ (A Life in Photography, unpaginated, Chapter 1). ‘The Pool—Evening’ is among the photographer’s earliest photographs to be shown in both national and international salons.  It may have been included in a group of pictures Steichen submitted to the second Philadelphia Photographic Salon of 1899, his first foray into the world of competitive exhibitions.  Impressed by reviews of that city’s first salon of photographs, held the year before at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Steichen carefully strategized which of his works would be best received by the next year’s jury.  Although Steichen later recalled that only two pictures were accepted, a contemporary review of the 1899 show indicates that there were three photographs by Steichen on the walls; Steichen biographer Penelope Niven speculates that the ‘Pool’ may have been the third, in addition to the documented ‘Self-Portrait, Milwaukee,’ and ‘Lady in a Doorway’ (Steichen: A Biography, New York, 1997, p. 57).  It is possible that the ‘Pool’ image offered here was the ‘Frost-Covered Pool’ accepted the following year by the first Chicago Salon, where it was favorably reviewed by the art critic Charles Caffin.  Soon after, Caffin published the present image in his classic 1901 volume, Photography as a Fine Art: The Achievement and Possibilities of Photographic Art in America.  Naef 453 lists six additional exhibition venues for this image, including Brussels, Turin, New York, Denver, Pittsburgh, and Vienna, from 1901 through 1904. Encouraged by his mother and emboldened by his success in the Philadelphia and Chicago salons, Steichen set off for Paris in the spring of 1900.  It was Clarence White, one of the judges of the 1899 Philadelphia Salon, who recommended that he stop in New York to meet Stieglitz.  This legendary first meeting of two of the giants of twentieth-century American photography is well-documented in the literature.   Steichen was astounded when, after reviewing his portfolio, Stieglitz chose three photographs for his collection, including the image offered here, and suggested a price of $5.00 each, far beyond what most photographers’ work would have commanded at the time.   Stieglitz proceeded to publish the image in Camera Notes in 1901, where it was the only photograph by Steichen selected for photogravure reproduction in the entire run of the magazine; and in 1903 in Camera Work Number 2, the first of three all-Steichen numbers of that periodical. The title of the present image appears to have evolved over the years, as evidenced by its variant titles in early publications and exhibitions; the meaning of the present print’s poetic subtitle---‘A Symphony to a Race and to a Soul’ --remains somewhat obscure.   In the January 1901 Camera Notes, perhaps the image’s earliest publication, it is given the generic title, ‘Landscape.’  In Caffin’s 1901 Photography as a Fine Art, it has become ‘The Pool—Evening.’  In 1902, it was exhibited in Turin as ‘Stagno’ (cf. Naef 453), and in Camera Work Number 2, it is simply ‘The Pool.’  As of this writing, no other examples of this image with the subtitle ‘A Symphony to a Race and to Soul’ have been located. The political and philosophical climate that surrounded the young Steichen in his early years in Milwaukee may help to explain the tone of the subtitle, if not its exact meaning.  In her article ‘Edward Steichen’s Socialism’ (History of Photography, Volume 17, Number 4, Winter 1993), Melinda Boyd Parsons describes in detail a particular brand of German-American socialism that was prevalent in certain immigrant communities at the turn of the century.  As Parsons relates, this socialism was anti-materialistic, championed the artisan-worker, and held in particular reverence the family unit and women in general.   Steichen’s sister Lilian was a committed socialist, as were a number of Milwaukee’s prominent citizens, many of whom were friends of the Steichen family.   Parsons draws convincing parallels between Steichen’s non-conformist streak—expressed in his involvement with artistic ‘secession’ groups, among other things—and the socialist society’s belief in the value of the common man.   Indeed, although Parsons’s article concludes with Steichen’s first trip to Paris, it is not too far a stretch to see some of these early socialist ideals implemented by Steichen in his most populist exhibition, the 1955 Family of Man. In another article, ‘”Moonlight on Darkening Ways”: Concepts of Nature and the Artist in Edward and Lilian Steichen’s Socialism’ (American Art, Volume 11, Number 1, Spring 1997), Parsons  quotes extensively from the correspondence between Steichen and his sister in the early years of the last century, in which ideas of a ‘democratic art’ and socialism are intermingled.  In 1908, Lilian Steichen fell in love with a young labor organizer and poet named Carl Sandburg, and in her letters to him of that year, she described her close philosophical and spiritual connections to her brother: ‘You see brother and I are very sympathetic—we’ve watched storms come up together—we’ve made pilgrimages together on moonlit nights to birch woods listening in the silence for the heavy fall of the dewdrop—we’ve looked at his pictures together.  So he knows that our tastes are akin [and] that I too have some poetic insight. . . for Socialist propaganda and pilgrimages to birch woods have the same well-spring’ (quoted in Parsons, ibid., p. 75). Although Parsons’s articles do not point to an exact source for the subtitle of the present image, her texts refer to a number of socialistically-inclined authors, both American and European, whose works Steichen knew and whose philosophies may have influenced his idealistic sub-titling of the photograph. Most tantalizing is Parsons’s reference to another Lilian Steichen letter to Sandburg, in which she says that her brother’s ‘Whitmanic prints are yet to be done!’   Certainly the tone of Steichen’s subtitle echoes Walt Whitman’s poetry, and a simple search of the poet’s verse turns up several corresponding phrases, among them ‘Athwart my soul, moves the symphony true’ (from Abraham Lincoln, 1888-89); and ‘are gone in twilight, (Race of the woods, the landscapes free,  . . ),’ and ‘day over, the world, the race, the soul,--in space and time. . .,’  (both from Leaves of Grass). If Whitman is the philosophical source for the photograph’s subtitle, this would not be the only time Steichen was inspired by American verse.  As Joel Smith has noted, another of Steichen’s evening pool studies, the ‘Pond—Moonlight’ of Lot 6 was once reproduced under the title Solitude, which Smith relates to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s poem ‘Waldeinsamkeit,’ or ‘forest solitude,’ and the spirit of American Transcendentalism (Edward Steichen: The Early Years, Princeton, 1999, p. 44, fn. 78). The image offered here comes originally from a celebrated album of photographs, drawings, and photogravures given by Steichen to the photographer Gertrude Käsebier, the ‘first lady of American photography’ at the turn of the last century.  This legendary album was sold in these rooms in November of 1976.  For a discussion of the 1976 auction at Sotheby’s, cf. Beth Gates-Warren, Twenty Years of Photography at Sotheby’s, a supplement to Sale 6684, April 1995; and Naef, p. 160, where he speculates that the album was given by Steichen to Käsebier in August 1901. A founding member of the Photo-Secession who later became Steichen’s lifelong friend, Käsebier (1852 – 1934) had served on the jury of the second Philadelphia Photographic Salon in 1899, the first competitive exhibition to accept Steichen’s work.  She met Steichen for the first time in Paris in 1900, and introduced him to two young American sisters for whom she served as chaperone on their first trip abroad, Charlotte and Clara Smith of Missouri.  Clara Smith later became Steichen’s first wife (cf. Niven, op. cit., pp. 118-20). At the time of this writing, only three other prints of ‘The Pool—Evening’ have been located, all platinum prints in institutions: the print in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, a gift of Alfred Stieglitz in 1933; the aforementioned print in the Art Institute of Chicago, a gift of Georgia O’Keeffe in 1949; and one in the Royal Photographic Society collection, now in Bradford, England, a gift of Frederick Evans in 1937.

  • USAUSA
  • 2006-02-15
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Selected resettlement and farm security administration images

A group of 32 photographs of Migrant Farm Workers in California and the West,  including ‘Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California’; ‘Stalled in the Desert, Facing a Future in California’; '"Give us this Day our Daily Bread,”  Sunday School for Migrant Children,' and many others taken for the Resettlement Administration and the Farm Security Administration, mounted to thick buff-colored or slick white board, 10 titled by the photographer in ink, 9 captioned in an unidentified calligraphic hand, and 10 with typed caption labels on the mounts, one with the photographer’s notations in pencil and several others annotated in an unidentified hand in ink on the reverse, 1935-37 (32 photographs on 30 mounts) This group of primarily large-format photographs, including Dorothea Lange’s most famous image, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, was intended for exhibition.  In the 1930s and 1940s, the Farm Security Administration made sets of the images produced under its auspices available to schools, libraries, and civic organizations.  Two groups of similar photographs, by Lange and other photographers employed by the Resettlement and Farm Security Administrations, were offered in these rooms on 18 April 1997 (Lot 170) and 27 April 2005 (Lot 48).  The group offered here is notable for the large number of images titled by Lange herself.  This suggests that these prints were made by Lange, rather than by the F.S.A. labs in Washington, D.C. These photographs belong to the descendants of Bill Hendrie, the Research and Development Manager at the San Jose, California, Chamber of Commerce in the 1960s and early 1970s.  Hendrie, who had been born in Oklahoma and moved to California in the 1950s, discovered these photographs in a trash area in the Chamber of Commerce building during this time.  Realizing that they were about to be discarded, he rescued the prints and kept them for his family.

  • USAUSA
  • 2005-10-11
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Rome, 1847

AMÉLIE GUILLOT-SAGUEZ (1810-1864) Rome, 1847 Exceptionnel et inédit Album comprenant 37 épreuves sur papier salé dont 5 signées ‘Photographe A. Guillot-Saguez Rome 1847’ à l'encre (sur l'image) et 7 signées et datées (dans l’image). Chaque image est légendée au crayon sur la feuille. Album portant un titre et une dédicace à l’encre en première page 'Rome - Souvenir à Madame L des Bordes’. Dédicace à l’encre sur une feuille libre : "Voici ma bien bonne amie, l’album que vous avez désiré. Toutes les épreuves ne sont pas aussi parfaites que j’aurais aimé à vous les donner. Vous savez qu’elles ont été prises à Rome et que nous n’avions pas la machine qui convient pour faire les vues. (Excepté l’académie, on nous en a prêté une ce jour là). Mais tel qu’est cet album, Veuillez l’accueillir avec notre indulgence accoutumée et vous rappeler que le cœur qui vous l’offre à l’occasion donnerait pour vous sa vie." In-8 oblong, reliure de l’époque (222 x 301 x 10 mm), maroquin aubergine à long grain, plats ornés d’un encadrement doré et à froid avec fleuron central avec initiales R.B. au centre du premier plat, tranches dorées album 22.2 x 30 x 1 cm. (8 ¾ x 11 7/8 x 0 3/8 in.) chaque image env. 12.5 x 17 cm. (4 7/8 x 6 ¾ in.) à l’exception de 3 épreuves de formats 21.6 x 16.2 et 25 x 19.5 cm. (8 ½ x 6 3/8 & 9 7/8 x 7 5/8 in.) ill.1 Portique de l’Académie de France Villa Medici ill.2 Porta Maggiore ill.3 Eglise de Santa Maria in Cosmedin dite Bocca della Verita ill.4 Amphithéatre Flavius dit le Colysée ill.5 Ruines du Temple d’Antonin et Faustine ill.6 Temple de la Fortune Virile maison du Tribun Rienzi ill.7 Cour du Cloître de San Pietro in Vincoli Puits construit par Michel Ange ill.8 Villa Borghese ill.9 San Pietro E Il Vaticano ill.10 Ambon (Style Byzantin) dans l’antique basilique de S. Lorenzo hors les murs ill.11 Le Tibre à Ripetta Dome de l’Eglise San Carolo dans le fond l’Academie de France ill.12 Torre detta di Cesare Borgia ill.13 Le Moïse de Michel Ange – Statue exécutée sur le tombeau du Pape Jules II (Eglise de S. Pietro in Vincoli) ill.14 Chanoines du Chapitre de St. Jean de Latran (Cloître de San Pietro in Vincoli) ill.15 Colysée pris interieurement ill.16 Casino di Raffaello nella Villa Borghese ill.17 Arc de Constantin près du Colysée ill.18 Le Forum, Temple de Jupiter Stator ill.19 Château St Ange St Pierre ill.20 Le Piefferaro Benedetto (modèle) ill.21 Borghettano. Frontière du Royaume de Naples et des états romains ill.22 La Giovanna Borghettana, frontière du Roy de Naples et des états romains ill.23 Benedetto Paysan des montagnes ill.24 Reproducton Photographique fragment d’une gravure ill.25 Fac simile photographique d’un dessin à la plume de Raphaël ill.26 Colonne antique sur la place Ste Marie Majeure ill.27 Le Pont de Ripetta ill.28 Non titré ill.29 Temple de Vesta sur le Tibre et dans le fond le Mont Palatin et les ruines du Palais des Césars ill.30 Jardin d’orangers sur le Tibre Autrefois Propriété de la famille de Béatrice Cenci ill.31 Non titré ill.32 Non titré ill.33 Fontana della Tartarughe ill.34 Colonne de Phocas Eglise et Dôme de l’Académie de St Luc Arc de Septime Sevère ill.35 Fragment de la Fontaine de Trevi ill.36 Porta Maggiore ill.37 l’Academie de France Villa Medici

  • FRAFrance
  • 2016-11-10
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'Musée du Louvre I, Paris', 1989

C-print, signed, titled, dated and numbered '6/10' on a sheet of paper affixed to reverse of frame, printed 1990, framed, Thomas Struth’s images of the Louvre were the first studies taken for his well-known series of Museum Photographs.  In Musée du Louvre I, Struth demonstrates the stage-like management of stillness and movement which has characterised the series.  The photograph is reminiscent of a film still in which, with the camera position fixed, the only movement is from people entering and exiting the field of vision.  This draws our attention not to the paintings in the background, but to the museum visitors, the inhabitants of the foreground.  Looking at the photograph, as the visitors look at the paintings, we begin to examine our own behavioural patterns and repeat theirs.  As the photograph itself is analogous to a snapshot photo, so the haphazard manner in which museum visiting is carried out – where people look, but in different directions and with different degrees of intensity – provides the sightseer with only a snapshot view of art.  More than a century after the first depictions of museum going at the Louvre (by 19th century Parisian painters), Struth’s museum photographs invite their audience to look again not just at a clearly depicted subject, but at the photographic form into which it has been projected, and, in this way, to look self-consciously at collective cultural behaviour.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2007-05-29
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Withdrawal

Calla lilies

Solarized, signed in ink on the image, 'Fiori,' date, and numerical notations in pencil on the reverse, 1931 Man Ray’s now-iconic study of a profusion of calla lilies, in which the flowers are transformed and electrified by solarization, demonstrates the photographer’s unfailingly experimental approach to his medium.  Once in the collection of Andy Warhol, this rare early print links two of the great artists of the twentieth century.  This image owes its striking appearance to the photographer’s masterful handling of the darkroom technique of solarization.  Like the photogram—which Man Ray adopted and made his own—solarization is simple in principle but difficult to master.  To solarize a photograph, the print is exposed to light during development.  The duration and intensity of the light, as well as the stage of development during which the light is introduced, impact the final appearance of the print.  Solarization’s effects include a selective reversal and/or intensification of tones.  In Calla Lilies, Man Ray has employed the technique to create deep black outlines, accentuating the stems and the iridescent positive/negative modulation of tones in the blossoms.  The technique elevates an already elegant image into a Surreal account of its subjects.  Of solarization, Man Ray said ‘the technique enabled me to get away from photography, to get away from banality, what I seek above all is to escape from banality, and here was a chance to produce a photograph that would not look like a photograph’ (quoted in Schwarz, p. 282). This print was owned originally by Andy Warhol and was sold in these rooms in the historic auction of his collection in 1988.  Warhol was well-known as an admirer of Man Ray, and built a significant collection of his photographs, paintings, drawings, and objects.  The Sotheby’s auction of Warhol’s collection featured more works by Man Ray than by any other single artist.  In 1973, the two artists met in Man Ray’s Paris studio, where Warhol photographed Man Ray for a portrait commission initiated by the young Italian dealer Luciano Anselmino.  Anselmino, a great champion of Man Ray and the publisher of his First Steps portfolio in 1972, had been introduced to Warhol by Alexandre Iolas, one of Warhol’s dealers.  During the session in Paris, Warhol took a series of Polaroids of Man Ray.  One of these images was used by Warhol as the template for a series of painted portraits of the photographer, in a variety of formats, paid for by Anselmino and debuted in Iolas’s gallery in Milan in 1974 (cf. The Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonné: Paintings and Sculptures 1970-1974, Vol. 3, pp. 386-99). Calla Lilies was included by Man Ray in his first monograph, the seminal Photographs by Man Ray 1920 Paris 1934, funded and published by the collector James Thrall Soby.  As of this writing, only three other early prints of this image have been located in institutional collections: The Museum of Modern Art, a gift of James Thrall Soby; the Bibliotheque Nationale de France, the print used for the 1934 book; and the J. Paul Getty Museum, originally from the collection of Arnold Crane. Andy Warhol may have acquired this photograph from Alexandre Iolas or Luciano Anselmino.  Many of Warhol’s Man Ray pieces were purchased from Iolas, and Calla Lilies was illustrated in the dealer’s 1974 catalogue of Man Ray’s work.  The Italian ‘Fiori’ on the reverse of this print suggests that it may also been handled by Anselmino. This very print appears to be the one reproduced in the catalogue for the 1973 Man Ray Opere 1914-1973 exhibition in Rome, which was organized with the assistance of Anselmino.

  • USAUSA
  • 2013-04-06
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Au Bord du Nil (On the Banks of the Nile)

Like no other, Mahmoud Mokhtar was able to visualise the struggle for political independence and the emancipation of women in Egypt in the first decades of the 20th century. The elegance and determined posture of the present water carrier, stylised according to the aesthetic of the great sculptures of Ancient Egypt and the fashionable Parisian Art Deco, are characteristic of his art. This spirit is equally part of Mokhtars public sculpture, such as the granite Egypt Awakening in front of the Giza Zoo and Saad Zaghloul next to Qasr El-Nil Bridge, which still towers over Cairo today. Mokhtar moved to Cairo from the countryside in 1902 and was amongst the first to enrol in the citys new School of Fine Arts six years later. There he honed his skills as a sculptor under the tutelage of the Parisian professor Laplagne until a scholarship from the Egyptian Prince Kamal Youssef enabled Mokhtar to continue his education at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. There he was introduced to the latest artistic styles and the political force of art that would characterise his work from then on. Perhaps the most significant meeting of Mokhtars Parisian sojourn was with the political leader Saad Zaghloul. The sculptor joined forces with Zaghloul upon his return to Cairo and became part of the group of intellectuals and revolutionaries who established independence from Britain in 1922. Au Bord du Nil represents the peasant woman, or fellaha, who was adopted as the emblem of Egypts revolutionary movement in the early 20th century. Much like the woman in Egypt Awakening she stands tall, poised to adjust her veil, revealing her feminine beauty whilst carrying out the menial but essential task of sourcing water from the river Nile. Her frontal pose and the stylised visage and folds of the drapery are reminiscent of statues of Egyptian queens, such as the statues of Hatshepsut flanking the entrance to her tomb at Deir-el-Bahari. As such the figure at once symbolises ancient and modern Egypt and the reinstatement of the woman at the centre of this land. This exquisite piece has a particulary beautiful story. The sculpture was bought upon the return of a French collector from Egypt, where she fell in deep admiration of the country and especially the immense history alongside the Nile River. Once she returned to Paris, she came across Mokthar's works and fell in love with the iconic representation of the Egyptian fellaha which reminded her of her trip to Egypt. It is then that she most probably acquired the sculpture at the Bernheim Jeune Galerie or Susse Foundry who were both selling the artist's work during that period. With its strong provenance and iconographic subject matter, the present work is a collector's item at its best. Signed Mouktar, inscribed Susse Fres Edts Paris and cire perdue, with the SUSSE FRERES EDITEURS pastille 

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2017-10-23
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Untitled (rayograph with shapes of a vase and flowers)

Unique Rayograph, signed and dated ‘1926’ by the photographer in pencil and then oversigned in yellow-green pencil or ink on the image, the directional notation ‘Top’ and a diagrammatic arrow inscribed by the photographer in pencil and with his ‘Original’ stamp on the reverse, matted, framed, 1926 This large Rayograph is one of three unique works created by Man Ray during a single darkroom session.  Each of the three measures roughly 12 by 16 inches, and uses as its source subject matter a mesh screen, wood shavings, and a rope or string.  Using these basic, and somewhat abstracted, objects, Man Ray here employs his distinct photogram process to create whimsical drawings on photographic paper.  His Rayographs of the 1920s were, in fact, as he himself noted, the only drawings he made during that decade. In the Rayograph offered here, dated 1926, Man Ray places a vertical length of folded mesh screen at the center, and the shavings explode into full bloom out of the top of the mesh funnel.  A zig-zag wire cups the wild swirl of shavings.  Adding to the picture’s dynamism, Man Ray completes the composition using rope or string to create playful, looping swirls.  The two variant Rayographs utilizing these same objects are in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles (for a reproduction of one, cf. Getty, In Focus: Man Ray, pl. 19).  These Getty Rayographs are both dated 1924, suggesting that the three photograms were all created in either 1924 or 1926.  These Getty variants came originally from the collection of Arnold Crane, who acquired them directly from Man Ray. The Rayograph offered here was among seven Rayographs included in the exhibition Diogenes with a Camera II, curated by Edward Steichen and held at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, from November 1952 to March 1953.  (In Man Ray’s 1952 correspondence with his family, the photographer comments on a recent visit with Steichen in Paris.)  An installation view of the exhibition shows the seven Rayographs hung together, accompanied by the text of Man Ray’s 1950 essay, “Photographic Reflections.”  In this installation view, the orientation of the Rayograph offered here is inverted.  This alternate presentation of the Rayograph may indicate that Steichen preferred the inverted orientation, and as was his wont, hung it according to his own personal preference; or it may indicate that the work, at that time, had not been annotated with directional arrows by Man Ray, or had not been signed and dated in the lower right corner, recto, as it is at present.  This would not have been unusual, for Man Ray frequently signed and dated his Rayographs as they were gifted or sold, years after their making.   A signing and dating of the photogram by Man Ray at a later time would also explain the discrepancy between the date of the present Rayograph and the two related photograms in the Getty Museum, suggesting that the present Rayograph may in fact date to 1924. Sotheby’s thanks Man Ray Rayograph scholar Steven Manford for the research and insights presented here.

  • USAUSA
  • 2004-04-27
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Private Property Suites I, II & III, 1984

HELMUT NEWTON (1920-2004) Private Property Suites I, II & III, 1984 45 gelatin silver prints each signed, consecutively numbered '1-15' and annotated 'A' in pencil and stamped with copyright credit (verso); each in archival window mount, each Suite in a blue card box (the box for Suite I with stencilled portfolio title) with title pages numbered 'I-III' and annotated 'A' in ink and colophon, in individual hard-shell case base image sizes ranging from: 10 ¼ x 10 7/8 in. (26 x 27.6 cm.) to 9 ½ x 14 ¼ in. (24.1 x 36.2 cm.) or inverse each sheet approximately: 16 x 12 in. (40.6 x 30.5 cm.) or inverse Suite I 1.Woman into Man, Paris, 1979 2. Winnie at the Negresco, Nice, 1975 3. After Dinner, Paris, 1977 4. Woman Being Filmed, Paris, 1980 5. Jenny Kapitan, Pension Dorian, Berlin, 1977 6. Shoe, Monte Carlo, 1983 7. Père Lachaise, Tomb of Talma, Paris, 1977 8. Nastassia Kinski, Los Angeles, 1983 9. Office Love, Paris, 1976 10. Violetta, Paris, 1979 11. Karl Lagerfeld, Paris, 1973 12. Nude in Seaweed, Saint Tropez, 1976 13. Elsa Peretti, New York, 1975 14. David Hockney, Piscine Royale, Paris, 1975 15. Hotel Room, Place de la République, Paris, 1976 Suite II 1. Tied up Torso, Ramatuelle, 1980 2. Self Portrait with Wife and Models, Paris, 1981 3. Upstairs at Maxim's, Paris, 1978 4. Paloma Picasso, Paris, 1978 5. Rich Girl, Poor Girl, Detail, Bordighera, Italy, 1982 6. Sigourney Weaver on the Warner Bros. Lot, Burbank, 1983 7. Diving Tower, Old Beach Hotel, Monte Carlo, 1981 8. Viviane F., Hotel Volney, New York, 1972 9. Saddle I, Paris, 1976 10. David Bowie, Monte Carlo, 1982 11. Fashion Model in Chains, Paris, 1976 12. Veruschka, Nice, 1975 13. In the Grünewald, Berlin, 1979 14. Charlotte Rampling, Saint Tropez, 1967 15. Woman with Snake, Berlin, 1979 Suite III 1. Sylvia in my Studio, Paris, 1981 2. Jenny in my Apartment, Paris, 1978 3. Roselyne Behind Fence, Arcangues, France, 1975 4. Two Pairs of Legs in Black Stockings, Paris, 1979 5. Woman Examining Man, Saint Tropez, 1975 6. Woman in Fur Coat Adjusting Stocking, Paris, 1975 7. Sie Kommen, Paris, 1981 8. Régine at Home, Paris, 1975 9. Violetta at the Bains-Douches, Paris, 1979 10. Bergstom, Paris, 1976 11. Raquel Wech, Beverly Hills, 1981 12. Andy Warhol, Paris, 1976 13. Roselyne in Arcangues, France (Salon), 1975 14. Woman and Gardener, Lake Como, Italy, 1979 15. Mannequins Reclining, Quai D'Orsay, Paris, 1977

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2017-05-18
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'scene shifter'

Platinum print, with gouache highlights, signed by the photographer in pencil on the reverse, tipped to a large tan mount, signed, dated, and titled (erased) by the photographer in pencil on the mount, matted, 1921 This enigmatic and little-known Edward Weston photograph may have as its model one of the photographer’s friends or acquaintances from the theatrical circles frequented by Weston and Margrethe Mather in Los Angeles’s early Hollywood days.  Or, as with other Weston pictorialist studies, the title may have little to do with the ostensible subject, but rather is applied to a posed tableau in the photographer’s Glendale studio.  Conger 56 points out that the 'Scene Shifter' relates to a study of Betty Brandner moving stage flats, a picture now in the collection of The J. Paul Getty Museum (reproduced in Weston Naef and Susan Danley’s Edward Weston in Los Angeles, San Marino, 1986, pl. 3).   Whatever its basis in fact, the photograph remains a striking study in tone and shadow.  The deep shadows are offset by the gouache highlights on the model’s shirt; the intersecting angles of the shadows, the ladder, and the bending model give the whole a kinetic energy.  As with the Mather Pierrot study in Lot 18, the 'Scene Shifter' belongs to a whole group of photographs by Mather, Weston, and their contemporaries in which shadows play a major compositional role.  Arthur F. Kales, another California pictorialist who created even more exaggerated shadows in his pictures, frequently used actual movie sets as backdrops, with costumed dancers and actresses as his models.  One suspects that despite its theatrical title, the Weston study offered here has more to do with form than with the theatre.  Conger posits that this may be ‘the first surviving abstract composition by Weston.’ The 'Scene Shifter' was one of six photographs Weston sent to the important 1921 Pittsburgh Salon, and remnants of a paper label on the mount’s reverse might indicate that the print offered here is the actual print used in that exhibition.  Of Weston’s 1921 Pittsburgh pictures, the most remembered today is from Weston’s ‘attic series,’ Ramiel in His Attic, which one reviewer termed ‘suggestive of cubist thought’ (American Photography, Volume XV, No. 5, May 1921, p. 226).  Although the attic pictures have taken a lead role in current assessment of the photographer’s oeuvre, the angles and shadows shared by these attic pictures and the 'Scene Shifter' demonstrate variant ways of Weston working on the same themes and compositional problems. At the time of this writing, only one other print of the image offered here has been located, a palladium print in the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson.

  • USAUSA
  • 2006-02-15
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* Note that the price doesn’t correlate with today’s value, but only relates to the actual end price at the time of the purchase.

Photography

This category includes all manner of photographs and prints, from early photographs and historical images to iconic shoots, portraits, and contemporary photographic art. The lots here span the development of both photographic technology, and of photography as an art form, from their invention to the present day.