NEW YORK—Contemporary images share the stage with 19th-century albums, modernist portfolios and classic black-and-white photographs in Swann Galleries’ auction of Fine Photographs: Icons & Images on Friday, October 17.

Contemporary art highlights range from Scandinavian artist Simen Johan’s Untitled #137, a digital c-print of a lamb from the series “Until the Kingdom Comes,” 2006 (estimate: $9,000 to $12,000) to conservationist-photographer Nick Brandt’s remarkably intimate Lion Before the Storm I, pigment print, 2006 ($18,000 to $22,000).

New York—Bonhams, one of the largest auctioneers in the world, presents an item of outstanding proportions at its History of Science sale in New York on October 22—an original viewing window (est. $150,000-250,000) from the Manhattan Project's Hanford Site in Southern Oregon, employed in the production of plutonium for the atomic bomb known as Fat Man, dropped on Nagasaki, Japan on August 9, 1945. 

The windows, of which few have survived, were constructed to allow the project's scientists to oversee plutonium production without being exposed to lethal levels of radiation. Composed of numerous layers of glass mixed with 70% lead oxide, the window emits an eerie yellow glow. Because of the high lead content, the glass reacts more like a metal, sweating like ice when heated, and crumbling when ground or cut, making it a truly exotic material. Despite the window's provenance, the glass is not radioactive.


BOSTON, MA—(September 18, 14) a collection of letters from John F. Kennedy to the family of lost PT-109 crewmate sold for $200,000 on Thursday, according to Boston, MA-based auction house RR Auction.

The letters from John F. Kennedy were sent to the family of Harold W. Marney, one of two crewmembers killed when the PT-109 boat that he commanded was destroyed by a Japanese ship.

New York, NY, September 2014—The Crusader Bible is one of the most extraordinary illuminated manuscripts ever created, renowned for its unrivaled and boldly colored illustrations and for its fascinating history. The work brings Old Testament stories to life in bright images replete with medieval castles, towns, and battling knights in armor, all set in thirteenth-century France. On view beginning October 17, this exhibition offers visitors the rare opportunity to view over forty folios from the disbound manuscript, the work of seven unknown artists who were clearly masters in their day. The exhibition runs through January 4, 2015.

The provenance of the Crusader Bible is as intriguing as its artistry, and includes a trail running from France to Italy, Poland, Persia, Egypt, England, and finally, New York. Additionally, a selection of period artifacts and armor, on special loan from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, will offer visitors tangible evidence of the objects depicted so dramatically in the book.


The Center for Book Arts, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this October, presents a colloquium in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art Library entitled The Collecting of Artist Books Saturday, October 11 from 10am to 5pm. The day-long event, featuring 21 distinguished voices in the field of book arts, is offered in conjunction with the Center's major fall exhibition, Behind the Personal Library: Collectors Creating the Canon, which opens the same day. Following the colloquium, an opening reception and "Birthday Bash" will take place at the Center, located at 28 W. 27th St., Third Floor, New York, NY.

New York/London—Christie’s is pleased to support the return of the Codex Chimalpahin to Mexico, where it will go on public display at the Museo Nacional de Antropología beginning today, September 18. The three volumes of hand-written, indigenous accounts vividly document the history of Aztec Mexico in Pre-Hispanic and 16th Century New Spain. It was returned to Mexico in a private sale facilitated by Christie’s earlier this year.

The Codex will remain on public view at the Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City until January 11, 2015 as part of the exhibition Códices de México, Memorias y Saberes. The Codex takes its place among the most important archives in the Biblioteca Nacional de Antropología e Historia and in the future will be made available for further study by scholars.

The Grolier Club’s exhibition “Evermore: The Persistence of Poe” is devoted to one of the most influential authors of the nineteenth century, Edgar Allan Poe. On view from September 17 through November 22, “Evermore” showcases a wide array of materials drawn from Grolier member Susan Jaffe Tane’s personal collection, widely recognized as the finest Poe collection in private hands.

Co-curated by Ms. Tane and bibliographer and scholar Gabriel Mckee, “Evermore: The Persistence of Poe” presents an in-depth look at Poe’s life, his world, and his influence into the present day, with original manuscripts and letters by Poe, daguerreotypes, artifacts, first edition books, and unique material related to Poe’s family and friends. Also on display are a number of items that show Poe’s influence on American and world culture after his death, including artwork, comic books, movie posters, sound recordings, and toys.

NEW YORK—On Tuesday, October 14, Swann Galleries will offer one of the most diverse and visually stimulating Travel Posters sales the auction house has ever held. Highlights from a private Australian collection form the core of the sale, with many images that have never before come up for auction in the United States.

Naturally, there is a fine selection of Australian tourism posters including nine by the incomparable Gert Sellheim, such as the Cubist-inspired Sunshine And Surf / Australia, circa 1936 (estimate: $6,000 to $9,000) and By Train For Seaside Holidays! 1936 ($4,000 to $6,000); 12 by Percy Trompf, among them The Seaside Calls, circa 1935 and an image showing construction of the Sydney Harbor Bridge, Still Building / Australia, 1930 ($5,000 to $7,500 each); and nine of James Northfield’s classic images, including fishermen reeling in a big catch in Australia / Great Barrier Coral Reef, circa 1935 ($6,000 to $9,000) and the cute and cuddly Australia /Koala (Native Bear), 1931 ($2,500 to $3,500).


NEW YORK—On Thursday, October 9, Swann Galleries will conduct a 171-lot auction of African-American Fine Art that features more than 60 artworks from the estate of Professor Richard A. Long, presented in a separate catalogue. Long was known as one of the great pillars of African-American arts and culture, and taught at University of Pennsylvania, University of Paris, University of Poitiers, Atlanta University, Emory University, Morgan State College and West Virginia State College.

The works in his collection include many by Long’s artist friends, in particular Beauford Delaney and Romare Bearden. Among the highlights are a 1965 color pastel portrait of Long by Delaney (estimate: $15,000 to $25,000); two bold and colorful collages by Bearden, Brazil, circa 1978, which may have been a maquette for a poster ($35,000 to $50,000) and the small and intimate Untitled (The Trojan Horse), circa 1977 ($15,000 to $25,000); and two abstract watercolors by Alma Thomas, Untitled (Stripe Composition), circa 1971, and Untitled (from the Space Series), circa 1969-1972, inspired by the televised images of the NASA Apollo missions ($15,000 to $25,000 each).


New York—On Wednesday, October 1, Swann Galleries will offer a visually rich selection of works from the late 19th- and early 20th-century European art movements that pioneered new illustration methods, including chromolithography and pochoir, in an auction of Art, Press & Illustrated Books.

There is an enviable selection of works by the Surrealists, specifically a large group of books by Salvador Dalí, including one of only 10 copies of Poèmes de Mao Tse-Toung, with eight heliogravures reworked in drypoint, each hand-colored and signed by Dalí, Paris, 1967 (estimate: $15,000 to $25,000); and a first edition (one of 25 roman numbered copies) of Pages choisies de Don Quichotte de la Manche. 12 original lithographs, Paris, 1957 ($25,000 to $35,000).

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