Beautiful Photographs at Galeries Swann on October 21


Martín Chambi, Peru, 1947. Congreso Panamericano de Arquitectos, presentation album with 104 photographs, 22 of Chambi, 1947. Estimate $20,000-30,000.

New York—The Thursday October 21 sales of Beautiful photographs at Swann Galleries will offer exceptional examples of the most brilliant practitioners of the medium. Works will include those made in the 19th century through to the modern era.

The sale opens with images from the early years of the medium, including travel photography from the Middle East and South Asia, as well as images made in the American West. Highlight function Peru, 1947. Congreso Panamericano de Architectos, a presentation album from 1947 with 104 original photographs, including 22 by the Peruvian photographer Martin Chambi ($20,000-30,000); and a set of 14 1863 photographs of the Big River Mills and scenic scenes of Mendocino, California, by Carleton E. Watkins ($30,000-45,000).

American Modernism features photographs by Margaret Bourke-White, with The George Washington Bridge, silver print, 1933 ($40,000-60,000), and Otis Steel Mill, silver print, 1927-29 ($8,000-12,000). f/64 band members Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham and Ansel Adams are proposed: Weston is present with Oceano Dunes, silver print, 1936 ($18,000-22,000), which features a series of key studies of vegetables and seashells by Weston that are typical of his work. Cunningham’s Junk, Oakland Waterfront, silver print, 1933, printed 1970s ($3,000-4,500), and Adams’ Cathedral Peak and Lake, Yosemite National Park, California, silver print, 1960, printed in 1963 ($8,000-12,000), make appearances. Alma Lavenson will be featured with Mooring ropes, silver print 1931 ($7,000-10,000). Also of note is the work of Mexican photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo, whose Photographs, Mexico, 1945, an extremely rare deluxe edition of Alvarez Bravo’s photobook which includes three vintage prints: El Ensueno, Luz Restirada, and Dia de todos Muertos ($12,000-18,000) and a rare portrait of Frida Kahlo ($5,000-7,500).

The iconic Dorothea Lange Street protest, San Francisco, silver print, 1936, headlines a selection of Depression-era and FSA photographs ($50,000-75,000). This period is also represented by Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans, Marion Post Wolcott and many others.

Max Dupain, Sunbaker, silver print, 1937, printed from the 1970s. Estimate $20,000 to $30,000.

A select group of photographs from the collection of Aron M. Mathieu, founder of Modern Photography magazine are included in the sale. Most notable is a series of silver gelatin prints by Alfred Eisenstaedt, including Grand Hotel, St. Moritz, 1932 ($25,000-35,000); Premiere at La Scala in Milan, 1934 ($30,000-45,000); and Woman and grandson looking at Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’ Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 1932 ($3,000-4,5000). Additional works include images by Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau, Ed Feingersh and more.

Portraits and studies of the human form include Irving Penn’s 1957 image of Pablo Picasso Peering Behind His Jacket Collar ($20,000-30,000); the portrait of the writer Jean Genet by Richard Avedon in 1970 ($5,000-7,500); and the 1966 Gordon Park image of Muhammad Ali, printed in the 1990s ($2,000-3,000). Also on offer are two rare photo booth portraits of Andy Warhol, works that informed his use of photography and demonstrate the intersection of his interests in celebrity, mass consumption, performance and seriality (10,000 to $15,000). Studies of the human form include Max Dupainit is sun baker, silver print, 1937, print from the 1970s, rare appearance at auction for the work ($20,000-30,000); and Robert Mapplethorpe Tridham Das, silver print, 1986 ($10,000-15,000).

Stephen Shore, 2nd St., Ashland, WI, chromogenic print, 1973. Estimate $12,000-18,000.

Revolutionary color photography will include Stephen Shoreit is 2nd Street, Ashland, WI, chromogenic print, 1973 ($12,000-18,000); Eliot Porter Intimate Landscapes, a 1979 portfolio with 10 dye transfer prints ($7,000-10,000); and The Indomitable Spirit: Photographers + Friends United Against AIDS, 1979–89, printed 1989, curated portfolio with 9 of 10 original prints by Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Robert Rauschenberg and others, plus offset lithograph by Barbara Kruger ($12,000-18,000). Joel Meyerowitz, Evelyn Hofer, David Hockey, Martin Parr complete the selection.

Contemporary photography ranges from Francesca Woodman to Sally Mann, Abelardo Morell to Tina Barney, as well as works by Dawoud Bey, Pieter Hugo, Chris McCaw and Alec Soth.

Limited open exhibit hours will be available October 18-20. Appointments are strongly encouraged and can be scheduled directly with a specialist. Swann Galleries staff will prepare condition reports and provide additional photographs of equipment upon request. Advance bids can be placed with a sales specialist or on the Swann website, and telephone bidding will be available. The live online auction platforms will be the Swann Galleries App, Invaluable and Live Auctioneers. The full catalog and auction information is available at and on the Swann Galleries app.


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