December 2015 | Rebecca Rego Barry

Photographs from "The Americans" Reach $3.7 Million at Auction

A collection of iconic photographs from Robert Frank's seminal photobook, The Americans (1959), realized a total of $3,739,375 at Sotheby's New York last week.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 10.57.44 AM.pngThe collection of 77 images (out of 83 reproduced in the book) had been assembled by California art collectors Ruth and Jake Bloom. It was the first time such a large collection of photographs from The Americans has ever appeared on the market, according to Sotheby's. Leading the auction was the photo seen above, 'Hoboken' (Parade), taken in 1955, and 'New Orleans' (Trolley); each sold for $237,500. Frank's 'Charleston, S.C.' was another top lot, coming in at $162,500.

Christopher Mahoney, head of Sotheby's photographs department, commented via press release: "The strong results of tonight's sale illustrated the market's enduring enthusiasm for Robert Frank's pivotal works. The Americans remains one of the most influential books of photography ever published, and its nuanced subject matter is as relevant today as when it was created half a century ago. We saw bidders competing intensely throughout the sale, driving many lots to prices well above their estimates."

Image Courtesy of Sotheby's.