March 2019

"Wizard of Oz" Half Sheet Leads Heritage Auctions' Movie Posters Auction Above $2 Million

HA Wiz.jpgDallas, TX - Numerous collectors drove the final result for a The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939) Half Sheet Style A to $108,000, well beyond its high pre-auction estimate, to help lead Heritage Auctions’ Movie Posters auction beyond the $2 million plateau. The sale, held March 23-24 in Dallas, realized a final total of $2,037,626, and boasted sell-through rates of 98.7 percent by value and 97.1 percent by lots sold.

The top lot is one of seven posters in the sale commemorating the legendary musical fantasy film that was produced on a total budget of approximately $2.7 million (in Depression-era dollars), but earned just over $3 million at the box office - a paltry return on the investment. It wasn’t until it was shown on television in 1956 that the film enjoyed renewed popularity and became one of the most popular films of all time and, not coincidentally, became one of the most collected titles in the movie posters collecting hobby.

“The Wizard of Oz is a timeless classic that has become a beloved tradition for generations of fans,” Heritage Auctions Vintage Posters Director Grey Smith said. “The rarity and exceptional condition of this half sheet, from one of the most popular films ever made, make it a potential centerpiece for any serious collection.”

The Wolf Man (Universal, 1941) Insert is another that sparked enough eager bidding to drive the final result to well beyond the pre-auction estimates, finishing at $96,000. Because of financial troubles, there was talk during the 1940s that Universal Studios might cease making horror films - a temptation that was resisted upon the realization that horror films were the only ones sure to turn a profit. The classic depicted on this insert, one of the rarest posters made to promote the film, effectively revived the studio’s horror cycle for another decade and made star Lon Chaney, Jr., into the studio’s new star.

More than a dozen collectors made bids for The Bride of Frankenstein (Universal, 1935) Insert until it brought $90,000. The film shines a spotlight on a film considered among the most important ever made in the horror genre, despite the fact that director James Whale initially had no interest in directing the sequel to his 1931 classic, Frankenstein. Despite his dismissive approach to the film, which included layers of dark comedy, it enjoyed enormous success and popularity with audiences, opened to rave reviews and was heralded as Whale’s “second masterpiece.” This insert is one of the most desirable posters in Universal’s horror franchise, and one of very few copies known to remain in existence.

Casablanca (Warner Brothers, 1942) Original Set Continuity Photos nearly doubled its high pre-auction estimate when it drew a final sale price of $55,200. The film is revered among fans as one of the best ever made, and features legendary stars Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Set continuity photos like these ensure that audiences remain focused on the action and plot, rather than on misplaced props, and allow the crew to reset for multiple takes significantly easier. Scenes found within this album include Rick’s Café, the Blue Parrot, Rick’s office and the café in Paris, as well as exterior shots of the marketplace in Casablanca, the train station in Lyon and the Palais de Justice.

An exceedingly rare Nosferatu (PranaFilm, 1921) German Magazine Promotional Ad soared past pre-auction estimates when more than a dozen collectors made bids, before ultimately selling for $52,800. When director F.W. Murnau chose to make a film version of Bram Stoker’s Dracula nine years after the author’s death, he did not consider that Stoker’s widow owned the rights to his works and relied on them as her lone source of income. So when Murnau made Nosferatu (based on Dracula) without her permission, she sued him for all copies of the film, most of which she destroyed. After barely getting released in 1922, it reemerged in 1930 with a new title, The Twelfth Hour, and even featured characters who had been renamed as part of the effort to hide the film from Stoker’s attorneys. Original posters and advertising material of any kind for the film are virtually impossible to find, explaining the demand for this German rarity.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

·         $45,600: Red Headed Woman (MGM, 1932) One Sheet Style C

·         $38,400: The Bride of Frankenstein (Universal, 1935) Window Card

·         $33,600: Adventures of Captain Marvel (Republic, 1941) One Sheet - Chapter 1: “Curse of the Scorpion”

·         $28,800: The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939) Half Sheet Style B

·         $26,400: The Wizard of Oz (CIA, 1948) First Post-War Release Italian 2 - Fogli Carlantonio Longi Artwork

Category

Major Collection of Michelangelo Drawings to be Exhibited in the U.S. in 2019/2020

Getty Michelangelo.jpgLos Angeles - Michelangelo (1475-1564) is widely acknowledged as one of the most creative and influential artists in the history of western art. He was an exceptional draftsman and the up-close study of Michelangelo drawings is an unparalleled experience. An extraordinary exhibition coming to the U.S. this fall will bring that experience to museumgoers in Cleveland and Los Angeles.

Organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum in conjunction with the Teylers Museum, Haarlem, the Netherlands, Michelangelo: Mind of the Master will bring an important selection of nearly 30 exquisite Michelangelo drawings of the highest quality to the United States in 2019 and 2020.  The centerpiece of the exhibition is a group of drawings with an illustrious provenance from Queen Christina of Sweden (1626-1689), loaned from the Teylers Museum. Many of these rare drawings have never before been shown outside of Europe.

The Teylers Museum opened its doors in 1784 and is known as the oldest museum in the Netherlands, with a collection that is unique in the world. The collection of Michelangelo drawings has been in the museum since 1791 and this will be the first time the drawings will leave the Teylers Museum as a group.

Drawing was a key creative process for Michelangelo and arguably no artist has used it more effectively in the expression of human form. The exhibition will explore the range of Michelangelo’s work as a painter, sculptor, and architect through drawings, including designs for celebrated works such as the Sistine Chapel ceiling, the Last Judgement, the Medici Chapel tombs, and the cupola of Saint Peter’s basilica, Rome.

Given that Michelangelo burned large quantities of his drawings, the exhibition provides an extraordinary opportunity to witness firsthand a key group of sketches that survived from the artist’s Roman studio, coming down to us via the magnificent collection of Queen Christina of Sweden, a fascinating and unconventional art-loving monarch who abdicated the throne and moved to Rome.

The Cleveland Museum of Art will publish an accompanying catalog with contributions from leading art historians including Emily Peters, Julian Brooks, and Carel van Tuyll van Serooskerken.

Michelangelo: Mind of the Master is organized by the Teylers Museum in collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum.

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Image: Seated male nude; separate study of his right arm, 1511. Michelangelo Buonarroti. (Italian, 1475-1564). Red chalk, heightened with white;27.9x21.4 cm. Teylers Museum, Haarlem

 

Category

Frank Lloyd Wright Drawings Among Top Offerings in Heritage Auctions' Design Auction

FLW.jpgDallas, TX - Collections from a prominent Tulsa, Oklahoma collector and a large group of 22 sets of drawings by Frank Lloyd Wright, among the great architects of the 20th century, will be among the highlights in Heritage Auctions’ Design auction April 15 in Dallas.

George R. Kravis II, a lifetime resident of Tulsa, supported many local initiatives through the Raymond and Bessie Kravis Foundation. He contributed to several Oklahoma cultural institutions and was honored with the Oklahoma Governor’s Arts Award in 2010 as a significant contributor to the arts. In 2014, he established the Kravis Design Center in Tulsa, a 14,000-square-foot state-of-the-art facility to house and study roughly 4,000 objects of design.

“One of the preeminent collectors of his generation, George Kravis was a delightfully constant presence in the field of 20th century design for several decades,” Heritage Auctions Design Director Brent Lewis said. “He was a rare collector, filled with passion and knowledge, fulfilling a drive to acquire and preserve, not to value and trade. His concerns were not those of the market, but those of history: he was focused on an object’s influence and significance.

“In as much as his name carries significant weight in the field, it is due to his connoisseurship and his unique ability to surround himself with other experts in the field that allowed him to amass such a large and significant collection. The overall quality of the works he collected themselves stands apart. Even a cursory look at the collection reveals the curiosity of a collector drawn to both iconic works of 20th century design, especially to objects made in America, but also to the unusual and unexpected objects.”

Among the top lots from the Kravis collection in the upcoming auction:

A Vladimir Kagan Wall-Mounted Console Table, circa 1950 (estimate: $5,000-7,000) is an exceptional example of the artist’s ability to use wood to create fluid furniture styles. Known best for his avant-garde design style, the German-born Kagan has enjoyed a growing international reach, earning commissions from some of the world’s top interior designers and architects. Measuring 46-1/2 inches long and 12 inches wide, the table is inscribed “KAGAN DREYFUSS NEW YORK, A VLADIMIR KAGAN DESIGN” and features the artist’s signature blend of sophisticated aesthetic with comfort and modernistic sensibility.

David Hockney’s Swimming Pool Carpet, 1988, Vorwerk & Co. (estimate: $4,000-6,000) is made of tufted wool, measures 118-1/2 by 77 inches and is inscribed with control number RO22236 to verso. Created by a British painter, draftsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer who is considered an important contributor to the 1960s pop art movement, this carpet was part of a collection of carpet designs Vorwerk produced in collaboration with a series of renowned artists.

Paul László’s Pair of Arm Chairs, circa 1940 and Coffee Table, circa 1948, Herman Miller each carries a pre-auction estimate of $3,000-5,000. The Hungarian-born architect and interior designer had a career that stretched out over eight decades and earned him international popularity. László believed strongly in the relationship between artist and client, enough so that he earned a reputation for declining to work with certain clients. Photographs, renderings and descriptions of his work appear in books and periodicals since the 1920s.

“George believed that good design contributed to a better life,” said David A Hanks, curator for the Kravis Design Center. “As he put it, ‘we can actually improve our prospects for the future with our understanding and recognition of the importance of design.’ For George, design was everywhere, and his collection reflected his eye for the best.”

Frank Lloyd Wright Presentation Drawings of the Kalita Humphreys Theater in Dallas, Texas (estimate: $5,000-7,000) represents his conceptual renderings for the only theater out of more than 1,000 structures he designed (532 were completed). The Kalita Humphreys Theater was commissioned by the DTC in 1954, and completed five years later, becoming Dallas’s first repertory theater. The project was particularly meaningful to Wright, who as a child had wanted to become an actor. While his life followed a different - and highly successful - path, Wright’s love of the dramatic arts never waned, and a theater was on his wish list of career projects. The Kalita Humphreys Theater is an example of Wright’s later work, conveying organic fluidity through the elimination of right angles. The use of concentric circles and ramps through evokes images of his design for the Guggenheim Museum in New York, which also was completed in 1959. Wright did not live long enough to see this avant-garde space completed, but it remains a Dallas landmark and a monument to his design style.

Also among the 22 Frank Lloyd Wright lots in the auction is a set of five Drawings of the John Gillin House in Dallas, Texas (estimate $2,500-3,500). Completed in 1958, the home was Wright’s final residential commission, and his only residential project in Dallas. A Usonian home because of its engineering and use of local building materials, the home is atypical compared to most of his Usonian designs, largely because of its size (it is the largest home Wright ever designed) and its use of angles. The home and the Kalita Humphreys Theater are Wright’s only commissions in Dallas. These drawings come from the archive of William Kelly Oliver, who was a member of the Taliesin Associated Architects and oversaw both of Wright’s projects in Dallas.

Wright’s drawings for the Kalita Humphreys Theater and the Gillin house both come from the collection of architect W. Kelly Oliver, who worked with Wright on the projects.

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·         George Nakashima Desk, 1965 (estimate: $30,000-50,000)

·         Dale Chihuly Fourteen-Piece Cobalt Seaform Group with Red Lip Wrap, 1994 (estimate: $15,000-20,000)

·         Bruno Romeda Circle, 1987 (estimate: $10,000-15,000)

·         Pierre Guariche Kite Floor Lamp, 1952, Pierre Disderot (estimate: $9,000-12,000)

·         Betty Woodman Two Vases, circa 1980s (estimate: $6,000-8,000)

·         Guido Gambone Vase, circa 1955 (estimate: $4,000-6,000)

·         Marcello Fantoni Two Vases¸ circa 1955, Raymor (estimate: $1,000-1,500)

To see images and get more information about Heritage Auctions’ Design Auction, visit ha.com/5401.

Category

Einstein Letters on His Jewish Heritage and Nazi Germany to be Auctioned

Einstein Autograph Letter Signed 57835b_lg.jpegLos Angeles - A series of fascinating letters by Albert Einstein on the Jewish People’s rights to defend themselves, Nazi-Germany and anti-Semitism will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on March 28, 2019.  

Einstein Letter Defending Jewish Heritage

Albert Einstein wrote the June 10, 1939 letter, postmarked from Princeton to Dr. Maurice Lenz in New York. Einstein wrote in full, “May I offer my sincere congratulations to you on the splendid work you have undertaken on behalf of the refugees during Dedication Week.  The power of resistance which has enabled the Jewish people to survive for thousands of years has been based to a large extent on traditions of mutual helpfulness. In these years of affliction our readiness to help one another is being put to an especially severe test. May we stand this test as well as did our fathers before us. We have no other means of self-defense than our solidarity and our knowledge that the cause for which we are suffering is a momentous and sacred cause. It must be a source of deep gratification to you to be making so important a contribution toward rescuing our persecuted fellow-Jews from their calamitous peril and leading them toward a better future...[signed] A.Einstein.''
Einstein had long worked to save European Jews by issuing affidavits.

Bidding for the letter begins at $12,000.

Additional information on the letter can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Albert_Einstein_Letter_Signed_During_WWII______The-LOT51535.aspx

Einstein’s Hitler-Insanity Letter 
The second document being auctioned is an April 17, 1934 letter to his first wife Mileva Mari?. Einstein wrote about Hitler-insanity that is ruining the lives of those around him, as well as care for their son Eduard ''Teitel'' Einstein who had schizophrenia; in this letter, Einstein expresses hope that a ''chemical intervention'' might help Eduard.

The letter reads in part, “…I read the articles closely, and it does not seem completely impossible that a successful result might be obtained through a chemical intervention such as this. It would simply constitute a strong stimulus to the secretory system created by a deficiency of sugar within the blood. However, we should not rush into this thing, we must wait until more experience has been gained. I am enclosing a check for you to make it easier to pay the bank debts that have become due… I am strained so severely by the various acts of assistance that I have to restrict myself all around in the most extreme way. All this is the result of the Hitler-insanity, which has completely ruined the lives of all those around me…”

Bidding for the letter begins at $25,000. 

Additional information on the letter can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/LotDetail.aspx?inventoryid=51534

Einstein Letter on anti-Semitism in Germany 

The third Einstein letter being auctioned is dated September 6, 1921, and was addressed to his sister Maja Winteler-Einstein. Ominously, in foreshadowing of what was about to strike Germany, Einstein wrote that he is supposed to go to Munich, but is declining because he would be putting his life at risk if he were to visit the city; at that time Munich was in a wave of severe anti-Semitism, with an order having been issued the year before to expel Jews from the city, and Hitler having just become chairman of the NSDAP in Munich.

Bidding for the letter begins at $12,000.

Additional information on the letter can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Albert_Einstein_Autograph_Letter_Signed_From_1921_-LOT51536.aspx

Category

Classic & Contemporary Photographs at Swann April 18

hmcdcamdkpagnhcb.jpgNew York - Classic & Contemporary Photographs will be on offer Thursday, April 18 at Swann Galleries. The auction features diverse images from twentieth-century artists pushing the limits of the medium and its intended use, including Wilson A. Bentley, Dorothea Lange, Robert Mapplethorpe and Alfred Stieglitz.  

Robert Mapplethorpe’s oversized silver print of Lisa Lyon, 1980-82 is a stunning example of the artist’s portraiture. Mapplethorpe met Lyon in 1980 after she became the first World Women’s Bodybuilding Champion; the duo would collaborate on numerous sittings in the following years, which included portraits as well as full and fragmented body studies. The photograph captures a confident Lyon in profile as she holds her veiled head high and flexes her right arm, and is estimated at $50,000 to $75,000. Additional Mapplethorpe silver prints include a 1981 Untitled male nude, and Boot Fetish, 1979 (Estimates: $7,000-10,000 and $5,000-7,5000, respectively).  

Contemporary photography is well represented with Sarah Charlesworth’s 1989 laminated Cibachrome print Subtle Body, from the Academy of Secrets series, which alludes to an esoteric system of universal symbols associated with transmutation and transcendence ($15,000-25,000); abstract works by Barbara Kasten: Architectural Site 7: The World Financial Center, July 14, 1986, an oversized Cibachrome print, and Construct X-B, transfer print, 1982, ($6,000-9,000 apiece), and a choice suite of five silver prints from Mujeres de Juchitan, 1979-89, printed circa 1990, by Graciela Iturbide ($5,000-7,500).

Photographs that have transcended their original documentary purpose include images by Walker Evans, Lewis W. Hine and Dorothea Lange. Highlights among the selection include Lange’s silver print Korean Child, 1958, printed 1960s, taken during her 1958 trip throughout Asia ($20,000-30,000). Walker Evans’ Corner of Havana building with decorative iron grillwork, silver print, 1933, is offered with an estimate of $15,000 to $20,000. The silver print was initially for Carleton Beals’ Crime of Cuba and marks a key moment in the evolution and refinement of the artist’s style. Lewis W. Hine’s Spinner in Carolina Cotton Mill, silver print, 1909, comes across the block at $5,000 to $7,500. 

A run of Alfred Stieglitz’s Camera Work, originally from the collection of Stieglitz’s brother, comes across the block. A photographic journal published by the artivest and issued quarterly from 1903-17, the publication was created in an effort to elevate the medium and consisted of high-quality photogravures from notable photographers. Among those featured in the sale are Stieglitz’s Camera Work, Number 36, 1911, complete with 17 photogravures including The Steerage ($18,000-22,000), and Camera Work, Number 49-50, 1917, with 11 images by Paul Strand ($12,000-18,000). 

Sublime images that capture nature include Ansel Adams’ Portfolio Three: Yosemite Valley, 1926-59, printed 1960. Complete with 16 silver prints, including Monolith, the Face of Half Dome and El Capitan, Sunrise, the portfolio carries an estimate of $40,000 to $60,000. Also of note is Wilson A. Bentley’s 1888-1927 album of 55 silver prints, including 51 of his iconic snow crystals, with an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000, as well as Paul Caponigro’s haunting silver print Running White Deer, Country Wicklow, Ireland, 1967, at $3,000 to $4,500. 

Vernacular photography features Herbert Heard Evans’ 1920s album of 118 silver prints, 16 of which are attributed to Martín Chambi, depicting the city and region of Cusco, Peru, as well as Bolivia, Ecuador, Honduras and Guatemala features in the sale at $6,000 to $9,000. Evans was the Assistant Superintendent of the Mechanical Division of the Panama Canal from 1919-42, during his station he and his wife traveled extensively throughout South America. Photographs capturing American culture include a collection of 48 silver prints showing the charm and décor of diners in the 1940s and 50s ($1,200-1,800), and an album assembled by a female member of a motorcycle club in Florida includes approximately 190 photographs showing the daily lives and comradery of the club during the 1970s and 80s ($1,500-2,500). 

Exhibition opening in New York City April 13. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries app. 

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 32: Alfred Stieglitz, Camera Work, Number 36, New York, 1911. Estimate $18,000 to $22,000.

Category

Christie's to Offer Prints from the Collection of Larry Saphire

chrisaph-1.jpgNew York - On 18th April Christie’s will hold an intriguing auction entitled The Arrogant Eye: Prints from The Collection of The Late Larry Saphire as part of our Prints & Multiples auction. The collection includes over 150 works on paper by modern masters such as Picasso, Braque, Miro, Matisse, Dali, Chagall, Léger, Ernst, Giacometti, Matta, and Masson. Larry Saphire is best known for being the author of the catalogue raisonnes of the prints of Fernand Leger and Andre Masson, compiled whilst running the Blue Moon Gallery in New York. Larry was a Renaissance man and the quintessential collector-dealer. His extensive knowledge of the print medium meant he could spot a diamond in the rough and acquire art that he loved. His wife Tricia Saphire observed that “[Larry’s] cordiality, his avuncular camaraderie, his intellect, mantled his acquisitive passion. If it was good, or rare he wanted to own it. The nominal properties that endow art with value, its signature, its provenance, the arcana that fascinate galleries…were a sideline to his appraisal.”

Prints from the Saphire collection will be on public view to in Christie’s Rockefeller galleries from 13 - 17 April. In addition, works on paper from his collection will be sold in the Impressionist & Modern Works on Paper sale on 14 May and in the Picasso Ceramics online auction.

Richard Lloyd, International Head of Prints & Multiples: “It is highly likely that any enthusiast of twentieth century prints and drawings active over the last few decades will have encountered Larry Saphire - either in person or by benefiting from the expertise contained in his monographs on Leger and Masson. Larry’s knowledge and passion made him a formidable operator in the saleroom and a considerable resource of information. The depth and breadth of his interests was a rare thing indeed. His passing may mark the end of an era.”

Highlights from the collection include Tête de jeune fille, an etching from 1924 by Salvador Dalí that is thought to be the only surviving example ($30-50,000), a plate from Joan Miró’s Série noire et rouge, an etching in red from 1938 ($20-30,000) and a hand colored work by Roberto Matta Par la bait-naître ($2-3,000). Two highlights from the collection that will be offered in May are Fernand Léger’s Femme à la feuille ($18-25,000) and André Masson’s Le Philosophe ($15-20,000).

Image: Salvador Dalí (1904-1989) Tête de jeune fille etching, 1924. Estimate: $30,000-50,000. © Christie's Images Ltd 2019.

Category

The NYPL for the Performing Arts Opens the Lou Reed Archive

New York City — The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts announced today that the Lou Reed Archive is now available for the public to use. To mark the opening of the collection, the Library is also issuing 6,000 limited edition library cards featuring Mick Rock's iconic image of Reed. The special cards are available exclusively at The Library for the Performing Arts, located at Lincoln Center. Additionally, the Library will celebrate the opening of the Lou Reed collection with a display at The Library for the Performing Arts, and offer special public programs.

The special-edition Lou Reed New York Public Library cards are available now at The Library for the Performing Arts's circulation desk, located on the first floor. The card grants users access to all the benefits an NYPL card has to offer: millions of free books, eBooks, databases, CDs, DVDs, streaming services and more. For more details on who is eligible for a New York Public Library card, please visit nypl.org/LouReed.

Users are now able to access the Lou Reed Archive -- including all paper-based, audio, and moving image materials -- from the Music and Recorded Sound Division on the third floor of The Library for the Performing Arts. For a guide to accessing the collection, visit nypl.org/LouReed. 

Also beginning today, The Library for the Performing Arts will showcase materials from the Lou Reed Archive in a third floor display marking the 30th anniversary of Reed's New York. The display traces the album's history from conception to production, using materials from the archive to illustrate the process and show users how to engage with the research collection. 

Public programs to celebrate Reed's archive at The Library for the Performing Arts include a one-day listening room installation on March 28 in the Astor Gallery featuring selections from the Archive's collection of demos, studio sessions, interviews and live performances.

The Lou Reed Archive, which The Library for the Performing Arts acquired in 2017, measures approximately 300 linear feet of paper records, electronic records, and photographs, and approximately 3,600 audio and 1,300 video recordings. The Archive documents the history of Reed’s life as a musician, composer, poet, writer, photographer, and tai-chi student through his own extensive papers, photographs, recordings and other collections of materials. The archive spans Reed’s creative life--from his 1958 Freeport High School band, The Shades, his job as a staff songwriter for the budget music label, Pickwick Records, and his rise to prominence through The Velvet Underground and subsequent solo career, to his final performances in 2013. The collection comprises studio notes, galleys and proofs, master and unreleased recordings, business papers, personal correspondence, poster art, fan gifts, rare printed material and Reed’s substantial photography collection.

Still looking for more Lou Reed? NYPL's Reader Services team has created a reading list inspired by Reed's life, interests, and the cultural landscape that surrounded his career. To view the list, visit nypl.org/LouReed

LOU REED ARCHIVE OVERVIEW

The Lou Reed Archive documents the history of Reed’s life as a musician, composer, poet, writer, photographer, and tai-chi student through his own extensive papers, photographs, recordings and other collections of materials. The archive spans Reed’s creative life--from his 1958 Freeport High School band, The Shades, to his final performances in 2013.

The Lou Reed Archive is held within the research collections of The New York Public Library.  The primary service point for the Archive following processing will be the Music and Recorded Sound Division  at The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts located at Lincoln Center in Manhattan.   

The heart of the archive is the collected material from Sister Ray Enterprises. Reed formed SRE to oversee his tours and his recording catalog. Recording sessions and the promotional work surrounding his releases are thoroughly detailed in studio notes, related session tapes, record label correspondence, test pressings, and album art notes/mock-ups/match prints. Reed's history as a live performer is deeply detailed by photographs, audio and video recordings, posters, handbills, extensive tour itineraries, agreements, receipts, correspondence, laminates, and passes. There are extensive examples of U.S. and international press in binders, scrapbooks and folders for Reed's albums, performances, theatre works, books, and photography exhibits.

The Lou Reed Archive includes:

  • Original manuscript, lyrics, poetry and handwritten tai-chi notes
  • Photographs of Reed, including artist prints and inscriptions by the photographers
  • Tour itineraries, agreements, road manager notes and paperwork
  • 600+ hours of live recordings, demos, studio recordings and interviews
  • Reed's own extensive photography work
  • Album, book, and tour artwork; mock-ups, proofs and match-prints
  • Lou Reed album and concert posters, handbills, programs, and promotional items
  • Lou Reed press for albums, tours, performances, books, and photography exhibits
  • Fan mail
  • Personal collections of books, LPs and 45s

The collection documents collaborations, friendships, and relationships with Delmore Schwartz, Andy Warhol, John Cale, Maureen Tucker, Sterling Morrison, Mick Rock, Robert Quine, Sylvia Ramos, Doc Pomus, Václav Havel, Hal Willner, John Zorn, Robert Wilson, Julian Schnabel, and Laurie Anderson.

The audio and video collection includes over 600 hours of original demos; studio recordings; live recordings; and interviews from 1965 to 2013. All of Reed's major tours and many of his guest performances are represented in the collection.

Lou Reed's iconic persona was captured in photographs by Mick Rock, Billy Name, Renaud Monfourney, Waring Abbott, Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, Mark Seliger, Guido Harari, Clifford Ross, Len Prince, David Gahr, Asako, Oldrich Skacha, Roy Tee, Steve Tucker, Paul Schirnhofer, Chuck Pulin, Sanford Schor, Judy Schiller, Simon Friedmann, Ivo Gil, Roby Schize, Greg Fuchs, Peter Locke, Elena Carminati, Moni Kellerman, Xavier Lambours, Henri ter Hall, Herbie Knott, and Jutta Brandt. These noted photographers who trained their lenses on Lou at concerts or for album artwork and press features are represented in the archive by copies or original artist proofs, many of which are inscribed. This collection of photographs covers the extent of his artistic career from a 1958 variety show performance by The Shade's to Lou's final public performances in 2013. The collection includes contact sheets, negatives and unpublished photographs.

Reed's own photography is also represented in the collection. Reed began working with photography in the 1970s when, inspired by the work of Billy Name, he modified a video camera to make high-contrast images. Over the years he captured over 10,000 images. In 2006 at the Steven Kasher Gallery Reed held his first major New York photography exhibit, Lou Reed: New York. He published several photo books, including Romanticism, a series of landscapes shot largely with a digital camera converted to create infrared images. This work was shown in 2009 at the Adamson Gallery in Washington, DC. Reed took photographs in New York, Scotland, Denmark, Spain, Rome, China and Big Sur.

The archive gives a comprehensive view of the creative process and business interactions of one the 20th century’s major musical figures. The collections document his Velvet Underground albums and performances, his solo albums, his extensive solo tours, collaborative music projects, theatre works, books and articles that he authored, his own photography, and his personal tai-chi studies. Reed was a life-long resident and a uniquely New York City songwriter, performer and photographer. The archive documents NYC through the words, music and photographs of one of the city’s most notable creative artists.

Lou Reed's uncompromising artistry has inspired generations of musicians and artists. The Lou Reed Archive is a matchless record of Reed's iconic career and a vital resource for scholarship, study, exhibition and dissemination of his work, as well as a dynamic resource for studies of the cultural and musical renaissance that Reed significantly influenced.

 

Category

Pioneering and Influential Women at Bonhams Fine Books Sale

197 SHELLEY (MARY WOLLSTONECRAFT) Autograph draft of the second portion of her story 'The Invisible Girl copy.jpgLondon — Novels, letters and photographs by pioneering and influential women from Josephine Bonaparte to J K Rowling feature in Bonhams Fine Books, Manuscripts, Atlases and Historical Photographs sale in London on Wednesday 27 March.

Bonhams Book department specialist Sarah Lindberg said: “We always have a good selection of work by women in our Books and Manuscripts sales, but the March sale is especially strong with letters from figures as diverse as Margaret Mitchell, the author of Gone with the Wind, and the Empress Josephine, and images by the pioneering photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. The newly-discovered fragment of a short story by Mary Shelley is particularly interesting. It was published as ‘By The Author of Frankenstein’ - not as an imaginative piece of marketing - but because her father-in-law not only refused ever to meet her, but insisted the family name be kept out of the press.”

Items include:

The Authors

  • A letter from Margaret Mitchell (1900-1949), author of the best-selling Gone with the Wind, to an Englishwoman who had written to her about reading the novel in bomb shelters during the Blitz. “Your letter meant a great deal to me as the author of Gone with the Wind, but even more to me as Margaret Marsh Mead, a woman.” Mead was volunteering for the Red Cross, making dressings and garments to be sent to England. She writes, “I will take your letter to the Red Cross and read it to my fellow-workers. Your words will make them realize afresh the courage of English people.”  Gone with the Wind has sold 30 million copies worldwide and was recently voted America’s favourite book after the Bible.  Estimate: £2,000-4,000.
  • A first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling (1965-) that belonged to the writer’s first literary agent, Christopher Little. The book, first published in 1997, has sold more than 120 million copies worldwide and has been translated into more than 80 languages. Estimate: £40,000-60,000.
  • The newly discovered handwritten manuscript of part of The Invisible Girl, a semi-autobiographical short story by Mary Shelley (1797-1851). Estimate: £2,000-4,000.

The Pioneers  

  • A letter from the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), written during the Crimean War (1853-1856) to Eliza Smith, a retired nurse who had gone to the Crimea in 1854 with Nightingale. Smith saved Florence’s life in 1855 after the latter fell dangerously ill. In the letter, Nightingale asks for Smith to come at once as …”we have 250 wounded just arriving and I want you for a few hours to see after them…” Estimate: £1,000-1,500.
  • Photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879), one of the great photographers of the 19th century, who pioneered the idea of photography as art.  Her soft-focus style and closely cropped portraits were crticised at the time, but have greatly influenced later generations of photographers. Her portrait of the co-founder of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, William Holman Hunt, is estimated at £1,000-1,500, and The Beauty of Holiness (a signed and inscribed portrait of Freddie Gould, son of a local fisherman on the Isle of Wight where Cameron had a house) at £1,500-2,500.

The Tastemaker

  • A letter from the Empress Josephine (1763-1814) authorizing her agent to buy the Château de Malmaison, west of Paris. Napoleon was abroad conducting the Egyptian campaign at the time, and on his return fell out with Josephine over the purchase. Josephine had paid too much for the dilapidated estate on the mistaken assumption that her husband would come back laden with war treasure. Malmaison was given to Josephine on her divorce from Napoleon in 1810 and she lived there until her death in 1814. Estimate £4,000-6,000.

Image: The newly discovered handwritten manuscript of part of The Invisible Girl, a semi-autobiographical short story by Mary Shelley (1797-1851). Estimate: £2,000-4,000

 

Category

The NYPL Honors the Bicentennial of Walt Whitman's Birth with New Exhibition

colorized_whitman_small_0.jpgNew York City —Walt Whitman has been called America’s “bard of democracy.”  His life’s work, Leaves of Grass, ushered in a new and unconventional style of unrhymed verse. The New York Public Library will celebrate the bicentennial of the iconic writer’s birth with an exhibition that honors Whitman’s impact on America and examines the many influences that shaped his writing. 

Walt Whitman: America’s Poet is curated by Michael Inman, Curator of Rare Books at the Library, and will open March 29, 2019 at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. 

“The New York Public Library prides itself on being a democratic, inclusive institution, open to everyone regardless of their backgrounds or beliefs.  It is only fitting, then, that the Library would host this exhibition, which highlights the development and lasting influence of America’s foremost poet of democracy,” says the exhibition’s curator, Michael Inman.

A native New Yorker Whitman was born in Huntington, Long Island on May 31, 1819.  During his early years, he plied a variety of trades, working as a school teacher, printer, home builder, and journalist and editor for a host of newspapers including the Brooklyn Daily Eagle and The Long Islander, which is still in print today. On July 4, 1855, Whitman published Leaves of Grass, the work on which his reputation largely rests. Whitman harbored high hopes for the volume, yet it struggled initially to garner attention. Nevertheless, in the years that followed, both he and his work slowly gained recognition.  In June 1865, Whitman was fired from his post in the Department of Interior by his supervisor, Secretary James Harlan, after Harlan found the poet’s heavily annotated copy of Leaves of Grass in his work desk.  Whitman later pointed to his firing as one of the pivotal events of his poetic career. In the wake of the incident, two of his closest friends, William Douglas O’Connor and John Burroughs, authored passionate defenses of the poet, upholding his poetry and moral character while publicly excoriating the priggish Harlan.  These works—O’Connor’s The Good Gray Poet and Burroughs’ Notes on Walt Whitman as Poet and Person—would help to alter the public’s perception of Whitman, gradually leading to a wider acceptance of his verse that continues to the present day.

Held in the Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Gallery at the 42nd Street Library, this multi-media exhibition chronicles Whitman’s life and career in sections that address his early days, the publication of Leaves of Grass, the impact of the Civil War, his rise to fame, and his continued legacy. Over 75 items from the Library’s collections will be on display, featuring personal artifacts, early photographs of the time, and material that both influenced Whitman and was inspired by him, including:  

  • Whitman’s annotated personal copy of the first (1855) edition of Leaves of Grass;
  • The termination letter presented to him by James Harlan, Secretary of the Department of the Interior;  
  • The heavily annotated third (1860) edition of Leaves of Grass known as the Blue Book;
  • Sheet music from the 1840s and 1850s, featuring works that Whitman heard in performance;  Music was, perhaps, the greatest influence on Whitman’s verse;
  • A Barnum’s Museum promotional poster.  Whitman admired P. T. Barnum’s penchant for self-promotion and the democratic spirit of his museum;     
  • Manhatta, considered by many to be the first American avant-garde film. The film quotes Whitman’s verse in its intertitle cards;
  • Film of a 1964 performance of the ballet Dance for Walt Whitman choreographed by Helen Tamiris;  
  • A rare daguerreotype photograph depicting Whitman as a young man (circa 1854);  
  • A lock of Whitman’s hair.

As Whitman himself declared “The proof of a poet is that his country absorbs him as affectionately as he has absorbed it.” His pioneering use of photography to market his own work can be seen as a harbinger of today’s visually conscious celebrity culture. Additionally, Whitman’s likeness and words have been used in advertisements to sell numerous items including automobiles and clothing. Two hundred years after his birth, Whitman remains a vital and vibrant part of American culture.

In addition to the exhibition, the Library will host an event, Live Oak, with Moss, with noted Whitman scholar Karen Karbiener and renowned illustrator Brian Selznick on Monday, April 1. 

The exhibition will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday and Thursday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday. Walt Whitman: America’s Poet will be open through Saturday July 27, 2019.

Walt Whitman: America’s Poet is curated by Michael Inman, Curator of Rare Books for The New York Public Library. 

Image: Walt Whitman, ca. 1865, digitally enhanced. Original photo by Mathew Brady. Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints, and Photographs, Photography Collection.

 

Category

Library of Congress Acquires Trove of Letters from Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz

OKeeffe-Portrait-by-Stieglitz.jpgThe Library of Congress has acquired a trove of letters from American artist Georgia O’Keeffe and her husband, the photographer and art promoter Alfred Stieglitz, shedding new light on art history as the correspondence is being made available to the public for the first time.

The collection is a set of mostly handwritten letters dating from 1929 to 1947, totaling 157 items. O’Keeffe and Stieglitz wrote the letters separately to their friend and artistic colleague, the filmmaker Henwar Rodakiewicz. The letters were preserved in private hands for decades in Santa Fe, New Mexico, never before seen by the public.

Now the collection is available to researchers in the Library’s Manuscript Division - in time to mark O’Keeffe’s important role in art history during Women’s History Month - after the letters were acquired through a purchase and gift agreement in late 2018.

O’Keeffe’s letters make up the bulk of the materials. She pens the correspondence in her distinctive calligraphy, writing notes from trains, from her apartment in New York City, from the Stieglitz family property at Lake George in New York and on letterhead from Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, where O’Keefe kept a home and studio. A catalog record and finding aid are available online.

Writing in poetic detail, O’Keeffe described the sound of rain, the color of sunrises and mesas and how landscapes and bones around her inspired her to paint.

“It is hazy - and my mountain floats out light blue in the distance - like a dream,” O’Keeffe wrote in a 1944 letter, describing the Pedernal mountain she could see from her home in New Mexico, providing inspiration for many paintings. “Yesterday, you could see every tree on it and last night - I thought to myself - It is the most beautiful night of the world - with the moon almost full - and everything so very still.” 

In other writings, O’Keeffe mentions her travels, the complexities of her life split between the East Coast and American West, her inner turmoil, joys and artistic triumphs.

“I am painting an old horses head that I picked out of some red earth. It is quite pink and all the soft delicate parts have been broken off,” she wrote in 1936. “This old head with a turkey tail feather … so handsome … but why must I … am on my second one and must do it again at least once more.”

Earlier in 1936, she wrote to Rodakiewicz of a new commission for a painting.

“I got an order for a big flower painting for Elizabeth Arden. Got it myself,” she wrote. “Now I’ve got to get the painting done. Maybe I’ve been absurd about wanting to do a big flower painting, but I’ve wanted to do it and that is that. I’m going to try. Wish me luck.”

That painting is “Jimson Weed,” which now resides in the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

Paintings of landscapes, bones and flowers would become some of O’Keeffe’s best-known works in a career that would change the world of abstract art. At the same time, she became an icon and a trailblazer for women in art. The collection covers the last phase of Stieglitz’s life - a time when O’Keeffe was starting to forge her independence. They were often living apart.

Stieglitz’s letters document his failing health, his business matters and his ongoing commitment to his third and last gallery in Manhattan, An American Place, where he would promote the work of several groundbreaking modern artists. Stieglitz exhibited O’Keeffe’s work in one-artist shows and displayed her drawings and paintings alongside works by Marsden Hartley, John Marin and Arthur Dove.

As a photographer himself, Stieglitz played an instrumental role in placing photography into the realm of fine art and would be remembered as one of the nation’s most famous photographers.

The collection of letters relates closely to a collection of Stieglitz’s photography in the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division, which came to the Library from O’Keeffe in 1949. The correspondence also complements letters in other archives, most notably Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

Rodakiewicz proves to be an important character and confidant in the lives of O’Keeffe and Stieglitz. O’Keeffe’s letters to the younger filmmaker demonstrate they were emotionally close and thought of each other often, shedding light on the characters, passions and relationships of art history.

Rodakiewicz would keep the letters until he died in 1976. His third wife stayed in their house for years after his death. When the home she had been living in sold, the letters came to light.

The collection came to the Library as a purchase and gift from Susan Todd and Michael Kramm of Santa Fe, New Mexico, through the art and manuscript dealer William Channing.

The Library’s Manuscript Division also holds the papers of other artists and photographers, including Augustus Saint-Gaudens, F. Holland Day, Joseph Pennell, James McNeill Whistler and Frances Benjamin Johnston, among others.

Image: Georgia O'Keeffe as photographed by Alfred Stieglitz in 1919. Credit: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, The Alfred Stieglitz Collection, Purchase and Gift of The Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation Purchase, [LC-USZC4-6228]. 

 

Category