Auctions | October 13, 2021

Fine Photographs at Swann Galleries October 21

Courtesy of Swann Galleries

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

New York — The Thursday, October 21 sale of Fine Photographs at Swann Galleries will offer exceptional examples from the medium’s brightest practitioners. Works will include those made in the nineteenth century through the modern era.

The sale opens with images from the earliest years of the medium including travel photography from the Middle East and South Asia, as well as images made in the American West. Highlights feature Peru, 1947. Congreso Panamericano de Arquitectos, a 1947 presentation album with 104 original photographs, 22 being by Peruvian photographer Martín Chambi ($20,000-30,000); and a set of 14 photographs from 1863 of Big River mills and sweeping 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). Group f/64 members Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham and Ansel Adams are on offer: Weston is present with Dunes Oceano, silver print, 1936 ($18,000-22,000), which leads a run of key studies of vegetables and shells by Weston that are typical to his oeuvre. 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 1963 ($8,000-12,000), make appearances. Alma Lavenson will feature with Mooring Ropes, silver print 1931 ($7,000-10,000). Also of note are works by the Mexican photographer Manuel Alvarez Bravo, including Fotografías, Mexico, 1945, an extremely scarce deluxe edition of Alvarez Bravo’s photobook which include three vintage prints: El Ensueño, Luz Restirada, and Dia de todos Muertos ($12,000-18,000), and a rare portrait of Frida Kahlo ($5,000-7,500).

Dorothea Lange’s iconic Street Demonstration, San Francisco, silver print, 1936, headlines a selection of Depression-era and FSA photography ($50,000-75,000). This period is also represented by Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans, Marion Post Wolcott and more.

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 run of silver prints by Alfred Eisenstaedt including Grand Hotel, Saint Moritz, 1932 ($25,000-35,000); Premiere at la Scala, Milan, 1934 ($30,000-45,000); and Woman and Grandson Viewing 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.

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

Groundbreaking color photography will include Stephen Shore’s 2nd St., Ashland, WI, chromogenic print, 1973 ($12,000-18,000); Eliot Porter’s 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, a curated portfolio with 9 of the original 10 prints by Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Robert Rauschenberg and others, as well as the offset lithograph by Barbara Kruger ($12,000-18,000). Joel Meyerowitz, Evelyn Hofer, David Hockey, Martin Parr round out 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 exhibition hours will be available from October 18 through October 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 material on request. Advance order bids can be placed with a specialist for the sale or on Swann’s website, and phone bidding will be available. Live online bidding platforms will be the Swann Galleries App, Invaluable, and Live Auctioneers. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at and on the Swann Galleries App.
Additional highlights can be found here.