Issue #149  10/9/2008
Be-hold Online and Catalogue Photo Auction to Be Held On Oct. 30th At 2 Pm

The 52nd Be-hold catalog/internet auction of photographs will take place on Thursday, October 30th, starting at 2 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time).

There is a large series of photographs dealing with 20th-century wars. Some of the material is frankly disturbing, yet these are powerful and revealing photographs that show how art and documentation are closely entwined.

A major group of offerings deals with Vietnam. These are grouped almost year by year--from the end of the French involvement up to the aftermath in Cambodia. They are mostly period press photographs with the original "slugs" attached that provide important context for the images. The photographers are often credited. Photographs by some of the major war photographers, such as Sean Flynn, Kyoichi Sawada, Philip Jones Griffith and Don McCullin, are offered individually.

The WWII photographs include a series of late war reconnaissance photographs used for bombing raids over targets in Japan. Groups of original German press photographs deal with ventures in Africa. They also show Germany's connections with her future ally Japan. The group includes interesting aviation-related photographs, and scenes from the Russian front. A fascinating photo album is offered that was made from a wing section of a downed German fighter plane by a U.S. bomber squadron. There are also photographs from the Spanish Civil War and grotesque images of Chinese beheadings, as well as unique photographs showing atrocities from the Japanese war in China before and during WWII.

From an earlier historical period there are a number of photographs dealing with American Indian culture during the period of Western expansion, with some fine portraits of prominent chiefs from the late 19th century. These include a beautiful hand-colored portrait of Geronimo by Erwin, several by F. A. Rinehart, and a fine tissue gravure by E. S. Curtis.

American 19th-century and early 20th-century photographs include interesting Adirondack scenes by S. R. Stoddard and lovely large albumen photographs of scenes in Saratoga, NY. There is a Yosemite scene on boudoir mount by Carleton Watkins published by Taber, as well as a very rare important albumen print on a boudoir mount by Taber showing Chinese coolies embarking from a ship at San Francisco. A good selection of Northwest logging scenes by Darius Kinsey is also on offer.

Other early 19th-century photography includes a select group of daguerreotypes (New Orleans portrait, Doctor with Bitters Bottle, etc.) and other early images, including a rare "ivorytype" by Germon of Philadelphia. A rare stereo ambrotype by William Dilworth Crewdson of a posed genre scene ("Woman Nursing an Invalid") is included in the sale, as well as, an important group of cartes-de-visite is of Count Olympe Aguado and his family. Aguado was the amateur photographer who first made small format photographs to be used as calling cards. The portraits are by Disderi, who commercially exploited that format. There are early salted paper prints by James Robertson and Robert MacPherson.

Other 20th-century images include nude and fashion photographs by Germaine Krull, P. H. Oelman, Horst (and a related self-portrait by Dr. Agha), a touching portrait of Marilyn by Halsman (more personal than those more commonly offered and not a portfolio print). Other photographs include recent nude and fashion images by Irina Ionesco and Jock Sturges and a striking "one of kind" Fresson print by Sheila Metzner. One of the principle offerings is a rare portfolio by Albert Watson (12 nude photographs of fashion models made in 1977 in an edition of 12 for Watson's favored clients).

Be-hold will also present interesting photographs by major photographers with works by Atget, Leonard Misonne, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Andre Kertesz, Robert Doisneau, Leni Riefenstahl and others. There are portraits by Jesse Tarbox Beals, James Van Der Zee, Barbara Morgan, and a series of 1969-1970 portraits of California photographers including Ansel Adams, Brett Weston, Wynn Bullock and Imogen Cunningham by Joan Murray.

The catalog and web absentee auction will take place on Thursday, October 30th at 2 p.m. (EST). Subscription forms for the print catalog, color scans, condition reports, the actual catalogue on line, and further information can be found on the be-hold web site at http://www.be-hold.com , by calling Larry Gottheim at 1-914-423-5806 or emailing him at behold@be-hold.com .

All those interested are invited to look over the material in person in New York City on Friday, October 24th, from 2 p.m.-9 p.m., on Saturday October 25th, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sunday October 26th, 9 a.m.-noon. The NYC preview will take place at the Affinia 50 Hotel, 50th Street at 3d Avenue, with a reception on Friday and Saturday evenings.