Issue #149  10/9/2008
Swann Holds Major Auction On Oct. 21; Previews Run Oct. 16-21 in New York City

Swann Galleries' October 21st auction of "Important 19th & 20th Century Photographs" offers vintage and contemporary works by a host of American, European and Asian masters.

Photographs of exotic lands and people include 75 rare Japanese landscapes, street scenes and views of temples by Felice Beato, the first photographer to devote himself entirely to photographing Asia, circa 1870 (est. $25,000-35,000); and a remarkable album containing 68 photographs of Brazil by Marc Ferrez, late 1880s-early 1890s, ($25,000-35,000).

Early images include a sixth-plate ruby glass ambrotype of abolitionist John Brown, circa 1859 ($7,000-10,000); Charles Nègre's photograph of the Charles-Antoine Coysevox statue "Flore", albumen print, 1859 ($18,000-22,000); Julia Margaret Cameron's "Shepherds Keeping Watch by Night", a rare (only two known) albumen print, 1865-1866 ($9,000-12,000); Timothy O'Sullivan's "Ancient Ruins in the Canyon de Chelle, N.M.", an albumen print from his geological survey of the U.S., 1873 ($15,000-25,000); and an 1840s salt print from a paper negative of Lady Georgina Ryder by the early Scottish art photographers Hill & Adamson $3,000-4,500).

Highlights from the early 20th century include Edward S. Curtis' luminous orotone, "The Vanishing Race", in an original Curtis frame, 1904 ($10,000-15,000); Edward Steichen's painterly "Mrs. Steichen and the Steichen Children", silver print, circa 1910 ($15,000-25,000); Edward Weston and Margrethe Mather's elegant view of "The Marion Morgan Dancers", platinum-palladium print, circa 1921 ($40,000-60,000); Tina Modotti's "Maria Marin de Orozco", platinum print, 1925 ($12,000-18,000); Edward Weston's Nude [Miriam Lerner: Hands and Torso], silver print, 1925 ($30,000-45,000); Dorothea Lange's "Ex-slave with a Long Memory, AL", silver print, 1937, printed 1950s ($15,000-25,000); Paul Outerbridge, Jr.'s large modernist color carbro print of the 1937c "Christmas Tree Ornament" ($9,000-12,000); and a portfolio titled "The Vanishing World", with 12 photographs depicting Polish Jews during the late 1930s by Roman Vishniac, silver prints, 1936-38, printed 1977 ($25,000-35,000).

Classic mid-century works include Ansel Adams' "Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada, from Lone Pine, CA", silver print, 1944, printed 1978 ($25,000 to $35,000); W. Eugene Smith's "Spanish Spinner", from his famous Spanish Village series, silver print, 1950, printed 1970-71 ($7,000-10,000); Ruth Orkin's "The Cardplayers, The Family of Man", 1947, a series of six silver print photographs of three young children deeply engrossed in their game of cards, printed 1955 ($20,000-25,000); O. Winston Link's "Hot Shot Eastbound at the Iaeger Drive-In, WV", silver print, 1956, printed 1998 ($9,000-12,000); and works by Helen Levitt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Robert Doisneau and Weegee.

Some of the desirable portfolios in the auction are George Tice's "The Amish", with 12 sentimental photographs of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country, silver prints, 1961-66, printed 1968 ($6,000-9,000); Minor White's "Juniper", with 12 silver prints, one of 100, 1947-71, printed 1975 ($14,000-18,000); Paul Caponigro's Portfolio II, with eight refined photographs of nature, silver prints, 1957-70, printed 1973 ($9,000-12,000); Danny Lyon's "The Southern Civil Rights Movement", with 28 photographs, one of only 10 sets, plus an artist's proof, 1962-64, printed 1996-98 ($35,000-45,000); Bert Stern's "The Last Sitting", with 10 chromogenic photographs of Marilyn Monroe taken just before her death, 1962 ($12,000-18,000); and a deluxe edition of Lee Friedlander's "Photographs", one of 150 copies issued with two original photographs, New York, 1978 ($12,000-18,000).

Noteworthy contemporary examples include William Eggleston's Untitled (Confederate flag), dye-transfer print, 1973, printed 1996 ($10,000-15,000); Francesca Woodman's Untitled (skull), silver print, 1977-1978 ($14,000-18,000); Tina Barney's ode to a weekly tradition, "Sunday New York Times", color coupler print, 1982 ($7,000-10,000); Robert Mapplethorpe's "Ken Moody", silver print, 1984 ($8,000-12,000); Joel Sternfeld's "Acquedutto Claudio, Rome", Chromogenic print, 1989 ($6,000-9,000); William Wegman's portfolio, "Letters, Numbers, Punctuation", with 44 photographs of his model Weimaraners, NY, 1993 ($20,000-30,000); and Chuck Close's portrait of "Ross", Polaroid print mounted to aluminum, 1993 ($6,000-9,000).

The auction will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21st.

The photographs will be on public exhibition at Swann Galleries on Wednesday, October 15, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday, October 16, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, October 17, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, October 18, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Monday, October 20, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Tuesday, October 21, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Illustrated catalogues are available for $35 from Swann Galleries, 104 East 25th St., New York, NY 10010, and may be viewed online at http://www.swanngalleries.com .

For further information, and to make advance arrangements to bid by telephone during the auction, please contact Daile Kaplan at 1-212-254-4710, extension 21, or via email at dkaplan@swanngalleries.com .