Issue #160  4/17/2009
Be-hold Stages Its First Ever Live Auction in New York City On April 28th With 160 Lots

After more than 50 catalog and catalog-internet auctions of photographs, Be-hold will hold its first live auction on Tuesday April 28th at the Radisson Martinique Hotel, 32nd St. at Broadway, in Manhattan.

The material, in 160 lots, extends across the range of photography from the early 1840's (a significant horizontal whole plate daguerreotype of an Alpine scene, one of the very first made in that region) to recent times. It offers an exciting overview of the range of photographic subjects, from photojournalism to portraits and experimental art, from anonymous or little known photographers to works by major artists. As befitting the current economic climate there is a range of lower-price material. Only a few lots have estimates in the range of $10,000 and above. Everything has been selected to be of collecting interest because of photographer, subject, and/or condition.

There is a strong group of war photographs by the great Robert Capa. An important image by Yevgheni Khaldei shows the raising of the Soviet flag at the Budapest Parliament in 1944, made months before his iconic image of the raising the flag over the Reichstag. The print seems to be a very rare vintage print made during the war. Early subjects of interest include desirable views of Robert Louis Stevenson and his circle at his late home in Samoa (from his family), an interesting photograph of a Confederate "ram," Western and Indian subjects including several by W. H. Jackson. A group of images from an Arctic voyage shows the slaying of seals and walrus. There are 11 lots of interesting, rarely offered pictorialist and modernist photographs from Japan.

Works by major photographers include a vintage 1926 night scene in Paris by André Kertész, and photographs by Brassaï, Doisneau, and other Europeans. American photographers include Weegee ( several experimental photographs that show him with his camera, "double"), Doris Ulmann (wonderful 1920s platinum print of two black women from South Carolina), Alice Boughton, Karl Struss, Baron de Meyer (rare early work), Gordon Coster, and W. Eugene Smith. There are two vintage photographs by the curious Mike Disfarmer, who has been receiving much attention lately, but whose photographs are just now starting to appear at auction.

More recent photographs include several by Jock Sturges, beautiful color photographs by Franco Fontana and Sheila Metzner, among other works. Aside from photographs in typical formats, the auction includes some unusual items such as a set of hand-painted posters for early cinema peep shows, with hand-colored photographs attached, and a wonderful folk art game board from Ohio with family snapshots in each of the "black squares."

There is a lot to see at the auction preview at the Martinique Hotel on Sunday, April 26th (10 am-9 pm), Monday, April 27th (10 am-9 pm) and Tuesday April 28th, (10 am to shortly before the 4 pm auction. The Polish-American photograph artist Andzrej Jerzy Lech, four of whose photographs appear in the auction, will exhibit more of his work during the preview. The hotel is offering special very low rates (starting at $85) at raddisonmartiniquepromo@themartinique.com . This is a great opportunity for those who want to combine a stay in a classic mid-town hotel with a chance to visit the preview and attend the auction.

Live absentee bidding will be provided by ArtfactLive (and their European sister site InvaluableLive). Left bids can be placed on those sites directly, or via Be-hold's own site http://www.Be-hold.com . Contact Larry Gottheim at Be-hold for further information about the bidding, procedures, material and all other related matters at behold@be-hold.com . Or call 1-914-423-5806 (but on the day of the action ONLY, call 1-914-439-6894). You can also contact Be-hold to order a richly illustrated, informative catalog showing and describing all the material. The subscription is $50 for three catalogues in North America and $70 any where else in the world.