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    5 753 For sale

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'the grand tetons and snake river, grand tetons national park, wyoming'

Mural-sized, mounted, signed by the photographer in pencil on the mount, his Carmel studio stamp (BMFA 11), titled and dated in an unidentified hand in ink, on the reverse, matted, framed, a Weston Gallery label on the reverse, 1942, printed circa 1955 The mural-sized print of The Grand Tetons and Snake River offered here is believed to be the largest print of the image ever to appear at auction.  According to the Weston Gallery, who acquired the photograph directly from Ansel Adams, the print is an early one, made by Adams in the 1950s. It was mounted and signed by Adams in 1983, when the photograph was sold to The Southland Corporation. Margaret Weston of the Weston Gallery, Carmel, California, was a close friend of Ansel Adams and a key representative of his work, both during the photographer’s lifetime and after.   Their warm friendship and collaboration over the years provided the fine art photographs market with some of its most memorable moments.  In 1975, it was with Adams’s encouragement that Maggi Weston opened her Carmel gallery, one of the first photographs galleries on the West Coast.  It was around this time that Adams decided to stop taking print orders, but, convinced of the potential for fine art photography, Weston mortgaged her house to place one last, large print order with him, a move that helped to expand and insure the already-growing market for Adams’s work.   In 1979, it was Margaret Weston and fellow dealer Harry Lunn who persuaded Adams to undertake the legendary Museum Set project, whereby sets of Adams’s photographs would be assured a place in museum collections.  As Weston wrote of Adams in the catalogue for a museum exhibition of her own early Adams prints, ‘To simply say he was a dear, close friend, a man whom I admired and whose wisdom I loved and trusted does not begin to do justice to Ansel Adams’s meaning in my life’ (From the Private Collection of Margaret Weston: Ansel Adams, Carmel, Center for Photographic Art, 1995).  For his part, Adams wrote in his Autobiography, ‘The sincere and successful dealer can be a boon to the creative artist in any medium. . . I have been very fortunate; over the past few years my primary dealer has been Maggi Weston’ (p. 362).

  • USAUSA
  • 2006-04-22
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Georgia O'Keeffe

Palladium or platinum-palladium print, tipped at the upper edge to the original paper mat, annotated 'Mrs. R. R. Young' by the photographer in pencil on the reverse, 1918; accompanied by the original black wood frame and backing with 'Geo. F. Of., Inc.' label (3) Stieglitz’s earliest photographs of O’Keeffe from 1917 and 1918 demonstrate his fascination with her work, body, and soul.  The penetrating portrait offered here is one of several in which O’Keeffe poses in front of her drawing No. 15 Special (cf. Greenough 471-82, 494-98), a charcoal inspired by her visits to Palo Duro Canyon, Texas.  Now in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, No. 15 Special is currently on loan to the O’Keeffe retrospective at the Tate Modern, London.  Stieglitz included this portrait in his 1921 retrospective at the Anderson Galleries, an historic show that was seen by thousands of visitors in New York and featured some 40 photographs of O’Keeffe.   While Stieglitz and O’Keeffe first met in 1915, it was not until the following year that Stieglitz became acquainted with her work and the two began an intensive and intimate correspondence.  Stieglitz’s increasing desire for O’Keeffe did not blind him to the importance of her art.  In April 1917, Stieglitz gave O’Keeffe her first solo exhibition and No. 15 Special was among the 23 works shown.  At the time of the opening, Stieglitz wrote to O’Keeffe, ‘I’m glad that your work is at 291 – when I’m with it it seems to prop me up – makes me forget so much that is hideous – and a deep reverence for something very wonderful invariably over comes me –‘ (10 April 1917, quoted in Greenough’s My Faraway One: Selected Letters of Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz, pp. 133-4). The photograph offered here was originally in the collection of Anita O’Keeffe Young, O'Keeffe's sister and the well-known socialite and wife of railroad magnate Robert R. Young.  An enthusiastic collector of her sister’s art, Anita also acquired a few of Stieglitz's most poignant portraits of O'Keeffe and likely received the present photograph in the late 1920s.  Notations in Stieglitz’s hand on the reverse of the mat list the address of ‘Mrs. R. R. Young’ as ‘601 W 113 St,’ where the Young family resided at the time of the 1930 United States Federal Census.  The New York Social Register locates Anita and Robert shortly thereafter at 720 Park Avenue. The present photograph is further distinguished by its accompanying original frame, created by Stieglitz’s favored framemaker, George F. Of, whose label (inscribed ‘Young’ in pencil) is affixed to the frame’s paper-backing.  George Of worked with Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, and other artists in the Stieglitz circle from the 1910s through the 1940s. In Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set, Sarah Greenough locates at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D. C., a palladium print and a gelatin silver print made from this negative (Greenough 472 and 473).  Greenough locates only two other prints of this image, both gelatin silver prints, in institutional collections: one at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the other at the Milwaukee Art Museum.  The present photograph is the only known print of the image in private hands.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2016-10-07
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Rayograph

Photogram, a unique object, signed and dated in pencil on the image, annotated 'Original Rayograph' and numbered '32' in pencil and with the photographer's '31 bis, Rue Campagne Première' studio and copyright stamps (Manford M6 and M14) on the reverse, 1924 This early Rayograph was made in 1924, just two years after Man Ray first began creating photograms.  Composed in his darkroom, without the use of a camera, Man Ray’s deliberate placement of a ball bearing, match, and feather element—which would have been placed on, or held just above, the photographic paper during exposure—has resulted here in a supremely graphic composition.  The most prominent element in this Rayograph is the glowing circular form of a metal ball bearing.  The sturdiness of this industrial object – with its uniform repetition and clean curves of the inner and outer bearing race – is juxtaposed with the ethereal quality of the wispy feather placed just below.  While seemingly an unconventional prop selected at random, the ball bearing is an object that appears in several of Man Ray’s photographs.  At least two other Rayographs display its distinctive circular outline.  The first, a Rayograph dated ‘1923,’ featuring a feather, ball bearing, egg, spring, and matches and matchbox, is now in the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery (L’Ecotais 90).  The second, a similar composition from 1924, with ball bearing, matches, and another unidentified object, is in the collection of the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen (L’Ecotais 105). From the beginning, Man Ray’s photograms were celebrated by many of his fellow artists.  His Rayographs appealed to Dadaists, who loved the quality of chance involved in their production, and to Surrealists, who found them equally compelling for their enigmatic dreamlike quality. The allure and ingenuity of Man Ray’s photograms, however, was appreciated well beyond the art world.  In an article entitled Some Photographs Made Without a Camera: Man Ray’s Masterpieces in Velvet Black and Grey in the Early March 1925 issue of Vogue, several Rayographs were illustrated, including the example now in the Glyptotek collection. The Rayograph offered here remained in Man Ray’s collection until at least 1962, when it was included in his highly important photographs retrospective at the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris.  This exhibition featured a significant survey of Man Ray’s Rayographs (exhibition catalogue, checklist 5-9), which were drawn from the artist’s own collection. Sotheby’s thanks Man Ray research scholar Steven Manford for his assistance in researching this photograph.  The present photograph will be included in his forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of Man Ray Rayographs.

  • USAUSA
  • 2016-04-03
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Withdrawal

National Junior Interstate Dance Champions of 1963, Yonkers, N. Y.

Signed and dedicated 'for Jean . . .' in ink in the margin, 1963, printed no later than 1967 The photograph offered here was given by Diane Arbus to the present owner who, in 1967, worked at Paraphernalia, the trend-setting boutique on Madison Avenue at 67th Street.  It was given by Arbus in thanks for doing her make-up for the opening reception of New Documents at The Museum of Modern Art.  The event was an important one for Arbus and proved to be the only significant exhibition of her work during her lifetime. Paraphernalia was opened in late 1965 by British entrepreneur Paul Young and clothing manufacturer Carl Rosen, and was based on the London boutiques of Mary Quant.  Convinced that America's mod youth were being underserved, the partners created a unique shopping experience and design workshop with affordable psychedelic and Op-and-Pop-influenced clothing that was often disposable.  Innovative young designers, including Betsey Johnson, Joel Schumacher (later a filmmaker), and Deanna Littell created limited-edition clothing and pioneered the use of new materials such as vinyl, Day-Glo gels, PVC, foil, and paper.  Sleekly and minimally designed by Ulrich Franzen, Paraphernalia was more club than dress shop, with its blasting music, video displays, and stage for dancers. It was a necessary destination for anyone who considered themselves hip and fashion-conscious and who wanted to be part of the scene.  With her interest in American subcultures—and her experience as a fashion photographer—Paraphernalia was just the sort of place to which Arbus would have been attracted. The present owner of this photograph was one of the sales staff who embodied the Paraphernalia ideal.  Slim, boyish, and above all, thoroughly au courant, they were essential to the store’s success. Playwright Wendy Wasserstein said that she thought that they ‘were the most sophisticated people in the world.  I thought that just by working there, they were practically sleeping with Mick Jagger.’ Andy Warhol wrote, ‘Paraphernalia sometimes stayed open till two in the morning.  You’d go in and try on things and ‘Get Off My Cloud’ would be playing—and you’d be buying the clothes in the same atmosphere you’d probably be wearing them in.  And the sales people in the little boutiques were always so hip and relaxed, as if the stores were just another room in their apartment—they’d sit around, read magazines, watch TV, smoke dope’ (Popism: The Warhol Sixties, p. 116). This signed and personally-inscribed print of Junior Interstate Ballroom Dance Champions is one of only a few extant lifetime prints of the image.  In addition to the present print, only two other lifetime examples signed by the photographer are believed to have been offered at auction: in these rooms, in December 2014 and October 1990.

  • USAUSA
  • 2015-10-07
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La vague brisée, mer méditerranée nº 15 (the breaking wave)

Albumen print, the photographer's red facsimile signature stamp in the lower right corner of the image, mounted, the photographer's blindstamp on the mount, 1857 The Breaking Wave illustrates the intensity of emotion and the dramatic contrast between light and dark that Le Gray was capable of evoking in his seascapes.  After years of photographing in the studio, or for the architectural survey of Mission Héliographique, Le Gray turned in 1855 and 1856 to more personal subject matter with his photographs of the Normandy and Mediterranean coasts.  In April 1857, Le Gray made The Breaking Wave and several other seascapes from Sète, a seaside port in the South of France.  This photograph was immediately popular in England and France, and it was one of only three images that Le Gray filed for copyright with the Ministry of the Interior. The photograph offered here comes originally from the collection of the enigmatic William Craven, Second Earl of Craven.  Eton and Oxford educated, Craven was a capable amateur photographer and an enthusiastic member of the Royal Photographic Society.  Two of his photographs were included in the Photographic Society’s second annual exhibition in 1855, and at the Edinburgh Photographic Society the following year.  Throughout the 1850s, Craven, traveling with his mobile darkroom, photographed the grounds and statuary of Ashdown House, his family estate on the Berkshire Downs 70 miles west of London; the Craven family and children; and floral and fowl still life.  Craven’s interests extended beyond his own photography, and his wealth allowed him to collect the work of his contemporaries Roger Fenton, Charles Marville, and Gustave Le Gray. Craven’s collection, and his own early photographic work, was rediscovered in two historic auctions in 2000 and 2001.

  • USAUSA
  • 2014-12-12
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Hudson river pier

Platinum print, annotated 'T-25' by Hazel Strand, the photographer's widow, in pencil on the reverse, matted, a typed collection label and a Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition label on the reverse, circa 1914 Paul Strand's work from the 1910s is an outstanding example of how American photography became modern in the early years of the 20th century.  The large platinum print of Hudson River Pier offered here, believed to be unique, shows how readily Strand absorbed the visionary aspects of the artistic movements of his day, especially Cubism. Strand's career as a Pictorialist was relatively brief.  In 1907, as a young man of 17, he was able to visit '291' and De Zayas's Modern Gallery, where progressive art of the time was on display.  In 1913, the year before Hudson River Pier was taken, he saw the paintings of Picasso, Braque, and others at the infamous Armory Show, which, as he recalled it in later years, was transformative.  The year 1913 also marks his personal association with Stieglitz, who saw in Strand's work a path toward photography's future. The present photograph's calculated shapes of light and dark, the subtle rendering of textures, the arrangement of space into rectangles that approach abstraction, but in a real setting—even the fragments of lettering as a compositional device—all suggest the influence of Cubism.  This 'abstracting' of a real landscape would reach its apotheosis in Strand's work with his White Fence of 1916, and in Sheeler's photographs with such images as The White Barn of the same year. According to Strand authority Anthony Montoya, Strand took this photograph with his 3¼-by-4¼-inch English Ensign Reflex camera.  The small glass plate negative was contact printed to another sensitized plate to produce a glass plate positive.  This plate was then enlarged to produce an 11-by-14-inch glass plate negative from which the present contact print was made.   An early collection label that accompanies this photograph indicates that it may have one time belonged to the American art dealer Franklin Riehlman (1953-2014). The print offered here was included in The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Paul Strand, Circa 1916, the definitive exhibition of Strand's work from this pivotal period in his career.

  • USAUSA
  • 2014-12-12
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'fotogramm' (hand)

The photographer's 'foto moholy-nagy' credit stamp and titled and annotated '2/6' by Lucia Moholy, the photographer's first wife, and 'fgm 186' by Hattula Moholy-Nagy, the photographer's daughter, in pencil on the reverse, 1925-26, printed 1926-29 This image comes from a defining series of photograms Moholy executed in 1925 and 1926 in which his hands are the principle subject.  Like the prehistoric cave painter who placed a hand on the tabula rasa of a rock wall and sprayed it with pigment, Moholy placed his hand on photographic paper and exposed it to light.  Hands are a recurring motif in Moholy’s work, from the playful self-portrait in which he holds his palm toward the camera, to the sophisticated photograms and hybrid photogram/photo-collages of the 1920s and 30s.  In the present image, Moholy has manipulated the light in his characteristically masterful way, and the fingers appear to be separated by shadowy hand-like shapes.    The location of the original photogram upon which this image is based is not definitively known.  Another print of the image, reproduced in the Catalogue Raisonné, is in the collection of Houston’s Museum of Fine Arts, but it is uncertain if the MFA’s version is the original photogram or a copy made from the original, like the print offered here.  No other versions of the single image have been located as of this writing, although the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography has in its collection an early print of the diptych. Moholy paired this image with another hand photogram (FGM 185), creating an enlarged diptych that he exhibited both in the historic 1927 Film und Foto exhibition in Stuttgart and his one-man 1930 exhibition at the Künstlerhaus Brno.  An installation view of the Brno exhibition shows the diptych hanging directly over an enlarged version of Moholy’s fotoplastik, A Chick Remains a Chick (Moholy-Nagy: The Photograms: Catalogue Raisonné, pp. 224-25). Moholy’s extensive and adventurous experimentation with the photogram demonstrated the creative potential inherent in photographic materials.  The photogram process, in which objects are placed directly onto photographic paper and exposed to light, allowed the artist to work directly with light, and to guide its delineation of the selected objects.  The photogram was, for Moholy, the essence of creative photography: if one could learn to successfully manipulate light, Moholy reasoned, camera photography could be easily mastered.  Moholy made photograms for the entirety of his artistic career, and his oeuvre shows the full range of expression of which the medium is capable.

  • USAUSA
  • 2013-10-02
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Winter - Fifth Avenue, 1893

Carbon print, flush-mounted on thin board, This photograph was made at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 35th Street, near the headquarters of the Society of Amateur Photographers, of which Stieglitz was a member.  The photographer took as his tool the hand camera, regarded by many at the time as unworthy of the 'serious worker', and waited for three hours in a fierce snowstorm on 22nd February 1893.  He later recalled how 'upon having the negative I showed it to some of my colleagues. They smiled and advised me to throw away such rot. "Why it isn't even sharp and he wants to use it for enlargement!"' ("The Hand Camera - Its Present Importance", in The American Annual of Photography and Photographic Times Alamanc for 1897, New York 1896).  Stieglitz argued that his hand camera negatives were made expressly for enlargement and that only rarely was more than part of an original shot used. The original negative of this image was in landscape format.  As a positive print it appears in a number of different formats and croppings, both portrait and landscape.  The print offered here is unsually large in size, and in this as well as in its cropping resembles most closely the carbon print in the collection of the National Gallery of Art Washington (ref 1949.3.94 [124D]).  The Gallery's catalogue entry for this observes that the railroad ties, visible in the lower left corner in previous printings of the image, are no longer seen.  It is believed that the original negative was retouched at some point between the publication of Picturesque Bits of New York and Other Studies (1897), and the publication of Scribner's Magazine (November 1899), when the image first appeared without the railroad ties.  The present print is believed to date from the late 1890s. The many transformations of Winter - Fifth Avenue demonstrate Stieglitz's intention to draw out the aesthetic potentials of photography.  Through his attempts to push photographic technique beyond its accepted limits, he sought to educate the camera clubs and societies of America into a 'European' passion for and belief in the art of photography.

  • GBRUnited Kingdom
  • 2007-05-29
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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.

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