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Current News             Issue Archive             Article Archive E-Photo Newsletter   Issue 45   6/27/2002

Sotheby's London May Auction Brings in Over 760,000 Pounds

Perhaps it was just the overload of one too many auctions this season, or maybe the lack of quality consignments due to 9/11 and the slower economy, but the London and French spring auction audience and results were off from the norm. Gone were many of the American (and even European) regulars. Collectors and dealers both took passes on these auctions, and the buy-in rates (especially at Sotheby's and Tajan) showed the impact. Many (particularly 19th-century buyers) reported being tapped out after the Jammes sales in Paris in late March. To add insult to injury, the dollar is in free fall, dropping almost 15% against the euro since the week prior to Jammes. It has also fallen against the pound. Condition of the images also appeared to be a problem throughout the sales here in London.

Sotheby's was first up with an eclectic mix of 19th and 20th century. The results were less than spectacular with just 56% of the lots selling, although the total take was 761,281 pounds sterling, which is a bit over $1.1 million dollars. These results included some of the sales efforts after the sale as well as during the sale. The pound was about $1.50 during these sales, as it is now. The prices that follow all include the buyer's premiums, which Sotheby's and Christie's had just raised in tandem prior to this sale. So much for being worried about anti-trust action.

The first lot of the sale, a group of 110 mid-19th-century images, was greatly underestimated, and, not surprisingly, did quite well. American collector Bruce Lundberg took the group for a total of 8,962 pounds, or about $13,450.

If you ever needed a reason to preview, the group of Robertson's of Constantinople that came up next would have given you one. Pale and flat, they looked great in the catalogue. Amazing what Photoshop will do. They sold, but cheaply. Great Robertson's can bring a lot of money (more on that in our article on the French spring auctions in the next newsletter).

Lot 11, 68 studies of the Krupp Armament Manufactory, 1869-79c, brought 10,755 pounds in the room.

The Roger Fentons were not my favorite lots. Most were just average prints at best. The first lot (28) was a very nice one of the Cloisters, Tintern Abbey, but there were reddish marks like a cat had swiped its claws on it. I still liked it the best of all the Fentons. New York dealer Hans Kraus, Jr. took it for 13,742 pounds.

The next two Fentons (lot 29 and 30) were bought by phone bidder L055 for 13,145 and 9,560 pounds respectively. Kraus came back to bag lot 31, a light print of Cedars, Monmouthshire, for 21,510 pounds, reportedly for a collector client.

After a group of pretty mediocre Julia M. Cameron's (the best a carbon print made after Cameron died) and one late-printed Lewis Carroll, the real test for the day came on the docket: lot 44. A pair of half-plate daguerreotypes by Thibault, which Sotheby's bravely called "the earliest recorded examples of photo-reportage," pictured rue St Maur in Paris before and after the June 1848 riots in which over 3,000 insurgents were killed. The daguerreotypes were used to make woodcuts of the event, which were then published in the weekly newspaper L'Illustration. The barricaded streets before and the soldiers and cannon without barricades afterward were two images that have been republished in recent years. Sotheby's said that the images were sold by an anonymous Frenchman to raise money for the World Animal Handicap Foundation, but the images have been in the collection of Count Geoffroy de Beaufort for many years, and it is likely that he was the consignor. Likewise the anonymous phone bidder materialized later as the Musee d'Orsay, who is preparing a major exhibit in 2003 on French daguerreotypes. The museum bid against the reserve to get the pair for a total of 182,650 pounds, or about $274,000. The pre-auction estimate range was 170,000-200,000 pounds. You could almost see the relief on the usually cool Philippe Garner's face when the lot did sell. Everything else was anti-climatic. After the sale, Garner said: "I am particularly gratified with the results for the top lot in today's sale, the highly important pair of daguerreotypes that were purchased by the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. These important images...will enjoy pride of place in a great national collection."

A small architectural study, which was termed a Dessin-Fumee, by Daguerre sold next for 13,145 pounds to a private collector. It was a process reportedly used by Daguerre to try to trick Niepce into believing he was on the same track as the earlier pioneer. The drawing sold to the phone.

A very interesting and strong group of Louis Robert/Victor Regnault paper negatives brought prices five and six times low estimates. Hans Kraus, bidding for an American collector, and I joined battle. He got two (48 and 50) and I got one (lot 49).

The Gustave Le Grays did not have their best day. The marines were mostly unmounted prints--some with condition problems--and most of the images were not particularly rare ones. The ones without problems or with lesser problems did sell (or at least did after the sale), but not for big bucks or pounds and were very good bargains. Lack of competition at the sale helped buyers here.

Lot 54 sold for only 11,352 pounds to French consultant Sam Stourdze. Lot 55 bought in but reportedly sold after the auction. Lots 56, 57, and 58 all bought in. While they were not top prints or images, most would have normally sold, although I thought that 58 was very overestimated at 50,000-70,000 pounds, especially since the print was not exactly perfect and the image was not one of the strongest Le Gray marines.

Lot 59 did sell for its low estimate--a total of 17,925 pounds (about $27,000) including buyer's premium. Canadian collectors Harry and Ann Malcolmson were the buyers.

Lot 60 continued the Le Gray buy-ins, but the print had a very large area of whitish discoloration. Lots 61 and 62 also bought in. Besides being slightly overpriced, both prints had physical problems. The last of the Le Grays, lot 63 had a dark spot that matched the color of the sky surrounding it, so it still presented well. Le Gray author Ken Jacobson bought it for 31,070 pounds (about $47,000)--the highest price for any Le Gray in this auction, and the second highest price in the sale.

While not exactly a test of the Le Gray market, the results indicate that the inflated numbers from the first Jammes sale and the Craven sale need to be put into perspective. There has been and probably always will be a strong market for this 19th century photographer. Besides being an acknowledged master by virtually every art institution, he is one of the 19th-century equivalents to Ansel Adams. His images are very safe material. Any owner of a decorator-done house or office would be happy to have one of his beautiful seascapes on a prominent wall, and I do not say that in a derogatory way. He was also a very powerful image-maker. Only American landscape photographers such as Carleton Watkins and William H. Jackson have similar 19th-century cachet in this broad market. Hence, there will be a ready market for most reasonably priced Le Grays of quality.

Likewise, there is a high-end to this market for the rarest images or rarer print qualities of less rare images (that are dramatic images). Le Grays certainly will continue to command and get six figures, but it is clear that not every Le Gray will make it into this rarified atmosphere.

However, more and more attention on this artist will certainly result in more demand. For instance the Bibliotheque Nationale's fine Le Gray show moves on next to the J.Paul Getty Museum, and two new books have been published on his work: not only Ken Jacobson's recent and very well researched book available through Carl Mautz cmautz@nccn.net in the U.S. and Ken Jacobson ken@jacobsonphoto.com in Europe and elsewhere, but also the new book by the Bibliotheque Nationale, which accompanied its show. Rarity may not be a factor in this demand. Witness the recent record prices for Adams' Moonrise, perhaps the most printed art photograph of the 20th century. Even Le Gray's less rare images, such as the Brig on the Water, the Said Leaving Cette Harbor, the Breaking Wave, or even the record-setting Great Wave, will normally command strong prices with top prints, although the latter's $800,000-plus record at Jammes was clearly an aberration. Many of these prints were printed in the hundreds according to available records. How many survive in marketable prints is, of course, another story.

After the less than sterling results on the Le Gray lots, Sotheby's placed their bets on a French horse: Vicomte Joseph Vigier. But this nag was dead at the starting gates. The prints were in poor condition, uninteresting and overestimated. On top of all of these problems, several knowledgeable French observers felt that these images might not even be by Vigier. Except for one very poor and yellow lot purchased by Hans Kraus for a whopping 538 pounds (and that included the buyer's premium), the string of 12 lots went down to ignominious defeat. Adding insult to injury, Sotheby's had to retract some of its wording in the catalog that these and some other lots had originally been in the November 2001 Tajan sale in Paris. They had not.

One interesting pass was on lot 111, the Atget of Porte de Choisy Zoniers, which got bought in at a mere 10,000 pounds after being estimated at 20,000-30,000 pounds. The same image sold last year (in a slightly better print, although this one was quite decent) to dealer Lee Marks for a whopping 29,250 pounds. That is what competition in the room will do for you. Despite this lot failing to make the grade, Atgets have been selling at auction and privately very well overall. I myself have sold 20 Atget prints in the last year, many to fellow dealers. Even the recent MOMA private sale did much better than expected, considering its sometimes-inflated prices and bizarre deal structuring.

After a period of mixed bidding with quite a few buy-ins interspersed, we came to the Herbert Pontings that were in the sale. I had hoped to snag a bargain here, considering what I thought was a lack of competition. If this sale and the Exploration sale at Christie's are any indication, Ponting's photographs are doing very well on the market. Everything sold in or well over the range at both sales. Lot 125 may have set a new world's record for a single print by Ponting at 13,145 pounds, or nearly $20,000. London dealer Hamiltons Galleries was the winning bidder. The famous Grotto in an Iceberg with the Terra Nova in the Distance was a huge print at 730 x 528 mm, plus frame. Although the print had some scratches and surface blemishes, it was still lovely and dramatic. The penguin images (there were three in this sale) were the only "bargains" at 1,673, 1,912, and 2,629 pounds respectively. Christie's Exploration sale was an even worse opportunity as several of us dealers smelling a chance to sneak into a non-photographic sale found out to our chagrin. It seems that this is not only a photography market item but appeals to a broader audience interested in exploration ephemera.

After lot 126, an image by Ferdinand Schmutzer of Einstein, was bought in at 4,400 pounds, another of Freud promptly sold in the room for 9,560 pounds.

Here is another auction aberration for you: lot 134, a set of Man Ray's Electricite sold here at Sotheby's for 20,315 pounds. While this was by no means a record, considering the prints (large spots on two of the key prints, including the iconic Torso), it was a wonder that the set sold at all here. Meanwhile at Christie's a superior set could not find a buyer even at virtually the same amount.

An Andre Kertesz of a couple embracing on the Eiffel Tower from "before 1929" went to a commission bidder at 15,535 pounds. It was a good print but had a light crease, which will be easily restorable. It seemed to be a reasonable value. The next lot, a Kertesz landscape from 1928, was bought in at 17,000 pounds.

Likewise a Paul Outerbridge Draped Nude with weird discoloration was bought in at 7,500 pounds.

A very bad portfolio of Sasha Stone's nudes got bought in at 15,000 pounds--more reflective of the quality in this particular portfolio rather than of Stone's work in general.

Another bet that Sotheby's had made--Raul Hausmann--did not pan out very well. Hausmann's work is more respected in Europe than here, so it was not much of a surprise to me that 21 out of the 30 prints bought in. Even those lots purchased had little competition, selling for below low estimates for the most part. I do, however, greatly respect this artist and expect that the buy-ins here may be looked on as a missed opportunity later.

A number of the American dealers who actually showed for these auctions had come to view the groups of vintage (or not so vintage) prints by the likes of Kertesz, Cartier-Bresson and others here and at Christie's. Lot 204, a group of 16 studies by Cartier-Bresson of 1950s London, sold to a man in the room for 10,755 pounds.

Several Man Ray fashion studies also did well. Lot 209 was bid up to 8,962 pounds by a phone bidder. Lot 210, a double image, became a battleground between NYC dealer Keith de Lellis and first one phone bidder and then another. Finally the phone did get it for 14,340 pounds.

Probably the surprise lot of the sale was lot 234, the Study of Three Models, 1958, from Norman Parkinson. Estimated at a reasonable 1,500-2,000 pounds, the lot soared when a phone bidder took the room up to 12,548 pounds. Perhaps it was actress Uma Thurman bidding up her mother's image. Her mother Nena von Schlebrugge, a model that Parkinson found in Sweden, was to first marry Timothy Leary (yes, THAT Timothy Leary) and then Professor Thurman. I swear this is all true, or at least that is what the Sotheby's catalogue says.

In any case, the fashion material did ok, and Sotheby's London got out alive, but just barely. It was unfortunately Philippe Garner's last photo auction for Sotheby's. The material was not quite so impressive as his recent Jammes sale, so it was tough going, although he did get an ovation when he came up to the podium. Garner will be leaving Sotheby's at the end of the month. He steadfastly refuses to say where he is heading until then (stay tuned), but several sources say it will be to Phillips auction house. That seems very possible to me. Garner has a special relationship, not only with Andre Jammes, but also with the Roger Therond family. If he goes to Phillips, it is possible that these sources for future major auctions will follow him. The Therond collection has already been rumored to be in Phillips' Paris corner for the last year. In any case, the Americans took Garner and the rest of Sotheby's Photography Department (Lydia Cresswell-Jones and Dr. Juliet Hacking) out to dinner the night after the sale, plied him with wine, and asked him repeatedly for details to no avail. It was, however, a pleasant night.

Philippe has always been my personal favorite as an auctioneer. His suave and knowledgeable stance at the podium is unique in the field. If he goes to Phillips, at least we will not lose this very special person to the photography market, although it would remain to be seen what could be done with an auction house that has not exactly had a super track record so far. But a few important photography sales could certainly help their situation.

Christie's Has Better Sell-Through Rate of 70%, But Only Manages to Net 607,753 Pounds

Over at Christie's King Street auction rooms the number of lots sold took a sharp upturn with a more active phone bank and commission book. The buy-in rate was only 30.5%. Despite that strong figure, the material could only bring in 607,753 pounds including the premium, or a bit over $900,000, about $230,000 under the Sotheby's total. Christie's also had 34 more lots than Sotheby's. Some notable items sold but several big pieces, including two of the three front cover lots, remained unsold. Again, all the lots below include the buyer's premium.

The first big lot of the sale, which turned out to be Christie's top lot of the auction, was--like at Sotheby's--a French daguerreotype. This rare still life of plaster casts of statues and plaques by Baron Armand Pierre-Seguier was dated Avril 1847, but Christie's and others who viewed the whole-plate dag thought the image was made much earlier, perhaps before 1842. The estimate of 20,000-30,000 pounds was clearly designed to tempt bidders, and it did. American dealers Keith de Lellis and William Schaeffer found themselves bidding against each other and then the phone. Ultimately the phone won. The price was still a reasonable (for the object) 53,775 pounds.

The photography family Llewelyn provided the next two big lots in the sale. I took a mixed album of photographs and watercolors with a Maskelyne provenance for 11,352 pounds. The album had some nice images by Nevil Story Maskelyne, John Dillwyn Llewelyn and other early photographers. It was the ninth highest price for a lot in the sale. Hans Kraus underbid me.

The next lot up was a very sweet and unusual album of miniature images by Mary Dillwyn, which were only 2-3/8 x 1-3/4 in. (6 x 4.5 cm.). The album of 42 salt and one albumen print was in a fragile paper format and contained family portraits, still lifes and studies of fowl. The latter images were the most interesting of the group. The estimate was admittedly a come-on at only 9,000-12,000 pounds--even for this petite-sized group. Early on a commission bidder and others set the pace, but, as the bidding continued, it became a race between dealer Hans Kraus and Lee Marks, who was bidding for collector Howard Stein. With Stein's deep pockets, Marks took home the prize at 47,800 pounds, which was the second highest priced lot of the day.

Continuing on this theme, I took the following lot, which was a group of manuscripts by Thereza Story Maskelyn (nee Llewelyn).

The Reverend Calvert Jones lots stirred a bit of controversy, especially on lot 26. The lot, which is actually half of a panorama, looked so good that several observers thought it might be a fake. The watermark was 1846 though and I felt it was a good piece--just a great print. Obviously Hans Kraus felt the same way. He took the lot for 9,560 pounds over my underbid. The other Calvert Jones (lot 27) was a tad light, but still ok. It sold to the room for 4,780 pounds.

The next big lot to go up was a wonderful album of 58 Rejlander prints. The estimate was silly at 800-1,200 pounds. While they were copy prints, these were made by O.G. Rejlander himself or his wife, who often printed for him and may have actually photographed some of the important images attributed to him. Daniella Dangoor was bidding this item up for us in the front row. I was sitting directly behind Ken Jacobson near the back row as he started to bid against Dangoor. Dangoor won at 10,157 pounds, a bit over $15,000--a tremendous bargain given the retail value of the individual prints. It was the tenth highest price of the day. By coincidence I happened to know exactly whom Jacobson was likely to be bidding for. He had won a similar album for Princeton University over 10 years ago--one that I still berate myself for not bidding on then. I felt that the two albums belonged together, and so, after discussing it with Dangoor, offered it to them through Jacobson. Princeton is soon to be the proud possessor of its second very important Rejlander album. Sometimes you have to put aside business priorities and greater profitability in order to facilitate what you know to be an important and appropriate acquisition. Fortunately, I had a partner in Daniella Dangoor who agrees with this philosophy.

The group of Julia M. Camerons at Christie's was definitely a step up from the ones in the Sotheby's sale. The first (lot 44, Mary Mother) sold for 7,767 pounds or nearly $11,000. The print was ok, but not great.

The next lot was The Dream by Cameron, which, while it needed conservation work, was a very good print indeed. It became a battle between phones, Hans Kraus and others in the room. One of the phones took it in the end for a whopping 22,705 pounds over an original estimate of only 6,000-9,000 pounds.

A George Frederick Watts portrait by Cameron (lot 46) then sold to the phones for 5,975 pounds. A nice cabinet photo (not a cdv as described in the catalogue) of Little Margie (lot 47) sold to the room for 1,553 pounds. A carte-de-visite sized Turtle Doves then sold for the same amount to the same phone bidder who took the Dream. Finally two mediocre prints (lot 49) by Cameron sold to the room for 1,195 pounds.

One lot that Christie's obviously hoped would sell was the Gustave Le Gray of the Pont du Carrousel, Paris (lot 59). It was actually better than I had expected. It was less yellow than the catalogue and presented decently. Another copy, albeit a rich purple print, had sold for 2-3/4 million French francs (about $400,000 at the time) last winter in Paris. This print was estimated at a more reasonable 60,000-80,000 pounds. Even after a belabored prompting from the auctioneer who was clearly reticent to move on without selling this piece, the lot could not find a single bidder and was bought in at 40,000 pounds. That is the difference between a compelling Le Gray and one that is merely good in today's market.

The very good group of individual James Anderson's and those prints attributed to him (lots 61-65) sold for solid prices ranging up to 6,572 pounds (nearly $10,000), with the lowest at 1,195 pounds.

Another cover lot that was bought in was an excellent, but terribly overpriced group of William Stillman prints of Athens with the key image missing (lot 75). This was the smaller albumen print album, which just does not have the presence of the bigger carbon prints. The estimate of 25,000-30,000 pounds was way too high for this work. The lot was bought in at 15,000 pounds--still about double what I think it may actually be worth at auction.

The Queen's Bible by Francis Frith (lot 91) got a quick estimate change (upwards) from 12,000-16,000 to 20,000-25,000 pounds. It sold in the room for 23,302 pounds.

Lot 134, a very good mixed album of Indian, Japanese and American views sold to the phone for a total of 16,730 pounds over London dealer Sebastian Dobson's valiant attempt.

Several volumes of Edwin Hale Lincoln's flowers were sold to the same phone bidder. Lots 147-150 were sold for 8,365, 11,950, 8,365 and 5,975 pounds respectively. All went close to their lower estimates.

A beautiful Robert Demachy nude called Struggle, indeed did just that and failed to sell at a 13,000-pound buy-in level. The estimate was a very reaching 20,000-25,000 pounds.

Two portraits of the Duchess of Windsor by Man Ray sold to the phone for 17,925 pounds. The estimate was only 8,000-12,000 pounds. Richard Avedon's portrait of the Duchess and her duke did not do quite as well: it bought in at 3,000 pounds.

We all broke for a well-deserved lunch at that point. When we returned, the afternoon session was even more lightly attended than the morning session. Most of the action came from the phones, and there really were few lots of note.

As I mentioned in the Sotheby's section, lot 185, the Man Ray portfolio of Electricite, failed to sell here, even though it was to my eyes clearly a superior portfolio to the one that did sell at Sotheby's for a mere 500 pounds less than the closing bid here. It did, however, get several bids before being bought in at 17,500 pounds. There seemed to be considerable interest after the sale on this item, but I am not sure it actually got a firm acceptable offer.

I thought I might bid on lot 203, an Edward Steichen Nude Torso--at least until I actually viewed it. It had a hard crease right through the middle of the print. Again, another reason to preview or have someone preview for you. It sold, not surprisingly, to the phone for 2,868 pounds.

There was considerable interest in a group of Andre Kertesz prints from the Manchester Collection. With a few exceptions most sold to the phone. Despite the light crowd, only two out of the 39 prints from this group failed to find a buyer, thereby dramatically helping Christie's sell rate on this auction. The prices were reasonable but the condition of the prints varied dramatically. There were lots of dealer comments in the room about the phone buyers' aggressive bidding for lots with reported problems.

The only other big lot of the afternoon was lot 262, an Irving Penn of Picasso, which sold for 14,340 pounds to a French-speaking phone bidder. The same phone bidder took the next lot of Three Dahomey Women (I) by Penn. Penn has been very hot lately with his nude show at the NY Metropolitan and a new world record at the last Sotheby's NY sale.

Contemporary seem to hold their own during the rest of the sale, as Christie's finished up the day.

Photo San Francisco Held July 25-28; Get Nearly Half Off The Exhibit Entry Price With a Copy of This Newsletter

Photo San Francisco, the third annual San Francisco Photographic Print Exposition, will be held July 25-28, 2002 at the Herbst Pavilion, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco.

Sixty-five galleries and private dealers from the U.S and Europe will present photography dating from the 19th century to cutting edge contemporary photography. Last year's event attracted nearly 3,700 visitors and even more are expected this year. The show has developed into the second or third most important such event in the U.S.

Collectors, curators, and photographers will have an opportunity to view tens of thousands of images for sale at the fair. A special exhibition of photographs by silent film legend Harold Lloyd, (including his seminal 3-d images) will be on display.

The opening night reception will be held Thursday, July 25th from 6-9 pm for the benefit of The Fort Mason Center's Historic Preservation Fund. Previously an active military facility, Fort Mason Center is now a thriving cultural center within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The proceeds will go towards enabling The Fort Mason Foundation to maintain and preserve this national historic landmark. Noted photographer Michael Kenna will produce two limited edition prints taken at Fort Mason. Proceeds from the sale of the Kenna photographs will benefit The Fort Mason Center's Historic Preservation Fund. For information on purchasing prints call Karen Watt at 415-345-7550. Tickets for the benefit are $40 and can be purchased at the door the evening of the event, or at The Fort Mason Center Box Office prior to the event. The box office phone number is 415-345-7575.

There will be three separate programs on Saturday. First, noted photographer Michael Kenna will deliver a lecture at 10:00 am on Saturday July 27th. He will sign copies of his books immediately after the lecture.

A panel discussion entitled "Changes in the Market: Challenges and Opportunities for Private, Institutional and Corporate Collecting" will also be held on Saturday at 1:00 pm. A panel of specialists in the field of fine art and historical photographs will explore the notable changes in the market that have occurred in recent years. The dynamics of auctions, galleries and the Internet will be explored in acquiring and de-accessioning photographs with the intent of describing the challenges and the opportunities for collectors in the private, institutional and corporate arenas. Dale W. Stulz, an independent consultant, appraiser and auctioneer in the field, will lead the panel. I will also join the panel in my role as editor of the E-Photo Newsletter and founder of I Photo Central. Dale promises to make the session a fun and educational time. Come ready with your questions.

Robert MacKimmie, Imaging Specialist at Pictopia.com, will speak on digital processes at 3:00 pm on Saturday. Robert will discuss the credibility and lasting integrity of fine art digital photography, and which printing techniques the collecting art community may sanction.

The Saturday panel and lectures will all be held in the Golden Gate Room of the Conference Center in Landmark Building A. Advance reservations are recommended for each of these sessions. Each lecture or panel is $5/person per choice. Call 323-937-5525 for reservations, which are recommended. If seats are available, additional tickets can be bought at the ticket booth.

On-site Collecting Seminars will be held with William Hunt, collector, curator and director of photographs at the Rico Maresca Gallery in New York; Leland Rice, who has been a photographer, independent curator, collector and educator for over 30 years; and with Daile Kaplan, Department of Photographs, Swann Galleries in New York. These seminars are $60 each and come with a three-day exhibit pass. They are held each day at 9:30 am before the show opens.

Regular exhibition hours are: Friday, July 26th and Saturday, July 27th, noon-7 pm; Sunday, July 28th, noon - 6 pm. Tickets are $15 for one day and $25 for a 3-day pass, but if you print out this article and present it at registration you will get these tickets at the reduced rates of $10 and $15 respectively. Tickets can be bought at the door or through the Stephen Cohen Gallery. For more information call 323-937-5525 or visit the show's website at http://www.stephencohengallery.com/archives/sf2002B.html

Doris Folberg Passes Away

Photo San Francisco will not be the same for me this year. I will miss my pleasant dinners with my dear friend, Doris Folberg, who has recently passed away at 82 after a long and valiant fight against breast cancer. I greatly cherished the close relationship that I had with Doris and her late husband Joe.

Some of my newsletter readers may remember my previous story about Doris in Issue #18. As I said two years ago, "At 80 years old, Doris herself has and is facing cancer with a straightforwardness that is disarming, to say the least. She maintains a wonderful sense of humor while facing things head-on. I only wish I had some of her sense of balance and courage, although Doris would never call it courage."

Doris was indeed courageous, and her family, her many friends and I will morn the loss of this very special person.

She was buried in Israel, next to her husband Joe, who was a prominent AIPAD photo dealer.

Her son Neil Folberg's email telling us about the sad news noted that: "She was a constant source of happiness and blessing to our family--always happy and determined, never discouraged!"

The Folbergs have established a memorial fund in Doris' name in cooperation with the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI), which I might point out is a non-political organization encouraging both Israeli and Arab participation. This fund will be used to further conservation issues and conservation education in Jerusalem and the surrounding area. In particular, it is hoped to establish a garden in her memory in central Jerusalem in the courtyard of the Jerusalem offices of the SPNI. Those of you who might wish to honor her memory with a donation can send those donations to:

The Doris Jean Folberg Memorial Fund

SPNI Jerusalem Branch

13 Heleni Hamalka St.

95101 Jerusalem


Checks should be made out to: "ASPNI - Sustainable Jerusalem". Contributions are tax deductible in both the United States and Israel. The family, in coordination with Avraham Shaked of the SPNI, who is a close friend of the family and knew Doris well, will administer the fund.

For more information about some of these environmental programs please go to: http://www.sustainable-jerusalem.org.il

If you wish to reply directly to the family, Neil has requested that you reply to their private email address: asfolberg@yahoo.com