April 2019

“Among Others: Photography and the Group” Opens at the Morgan on May 31

New York — The Morgan Library & Museum presents a new exhibition about photography’s unique capacity to represent the bonds that unite people. From posed group portraits and candid street scenes to collages, constructions, and serial imagery, photographers have used many methods to place people in a shared frame of reference. Opening May 31, 2019, Among Others: Photography and the Group brings together more than sixty exceptional works spanning the 1860s to the present to explore the complexity of a type of image that is often taken for granted. Drawn primarily from the Morgan’s collection, the works in the exhibition include images by Amy Arbus, Eve Arnold, Robert Frank, Peter Hujar, and August Sander.

The Morgan Library & Museum, Purchased as the gift of Nancy and Burton Staniar, 2015.131. © Bob Adelman Estate.

Bob Adelman (1930–2016), People Wall, World's Fair, New York, 1965, gelatin silver print.

Among Others presents the seemingly endless possibilities of the group photograph, placing historically important portraits alongside records of significant cultural moments and experiments that helped reinvent the genre. In representations of the group, artist, subjects, and circumstances come together to create an image that might call to mind a loving family, a chance encounter among strangers, an embodiment of the democratic spirit, or a photographer’s ability to read and respond to a crowd. The photographs in the exhibition come in many formats: not just exhibition prints, snapshots, and posters, but also photo books, painted wooden sculpture, collages, baseball cards, and even a wastepaper basket featuring Richard M. Nixon. In their range and ingenuity, the works pose questions about family, diversity, democracy, representation, and the varieties of visual delight.

One section of the exhibition features candid scenes from public life, such as Robert Frank’s Trolley, New Orleans (1955), seen in a large-scale print the artist made around the time it graced the cover of his landmark book, The Americans (1959). Also on view are photographs of collective actions that came to define significant cultural moments, such as Eve Arnold’s 1960 photograph of a training school for Black sit-ins and Danny Lyon’s image of Haitian women praying in the month after the collapse of the corrupt regime of Jean-Claude Duvalier. Photographers took a wide range of approaches to representing the group beyond the arranged sittings of families or civic organizations. Bob Adelman’s People Wall, World’s Fair, New York exploits the way IBM’s 1965 attraction cast a spotlight on the social and ethnic diversity of fair attendees. For a 1970 recruitment poster for the Gay Liberation Front, Peter Hujar asked the group’s members to run exuberantly toward him on the street, enacting their slogan, “Come Out!!” Camera artists have often embedded themselves in the action they portray, as Susan Meiselas did when mingling with carnival strippers, first to capture them behind the scenes and then to photograph their audience from a performer’s perspective.

When the subjects are beloved celebrities, the portrait seals a relationship of shared admiration between maker and viewer. In 1965, press photographer Jean-Pierre Ducatez made four images that zeroed in on the lips of each of the Beatles, creating likenesses that appealed directly to dedicated fans. In 1981, Amy Arbus happened to snap a photo of a photogenic group hanging out near Times Square, and only later learned they were members of the Clash their entourage.

The exhibition features items of “pop photographica” that play radically with the conventions of camera representation. In these pieces, individual portraits are mixed and matched to suit the purposes of board games, collectibles such as cigarette cards, and even psychological tests. “The Morgan’s photography collection has grown and evolved in many directions since its founding in 2012, always with a dual emphasis on the camera’s creative possibilities and its role in shaping modern sensibilities,” said Colin B. Bailey, Director. “We are excited to present this wide-ranging selection of works, most of which are recent acquisitions and have never been exhibited before at the Morgan.”

Joel Smith, the Morgan’s Richard L. Menschel Curator and Department Head, said, “The group is a subject we’re so accustomed to seeing in photographs, it’s easy to forget that the conventions around it had to be invented, and that they shape our picture of reality. This exhibition invites viewers to explore the many ways images have defined—since long before the selfie—how it looks to belong to a group and what it means to be represented.”

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Series of Exhibits & Events at the Library of Congress for Whitman's 200th Birthday

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Walt Whitman in his younger years, as shown in this 1854 engraving by Samuel Hollyer used in the 1855 first edition of "Leaves of Grass."

The Library of Congress will celebrate the 200th anniversary of American poet and changemaker Walt Whitman’s birthday in spring 2019 with a series of exhibits, public programs and a digital crowdsourcing campaign to showcase the Library’s unparalleled collections of Whitman’s writings and artifacts.

The Library’s Whitman Bicentennial series will be part of the citywide Walt Whitman 200 Festival and other commemorations in the Mid-Atlantic where Whitman spent most of his life. Whitman was born May 31, 1819, and died March 26, 1892. He spent about 10 years living and writing in Washington. During the Civil War, he volunteered in military hospitals in the city to provide emotional support to wounded soldiers.

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Walt Whitman in his younger years, as shown in this 1854 engraving by Samuel Hollyer used in the 1855 first edition of "Leaves of Grass."

Whitman worked as a schoolteacher, printer, newspaper editor, journalist, carpenter, freelance writer and civil servant, but he is best known as one of America’s most famous poets - and as a poet of democracy.

The Library holds the most extensive array of Whitman and Whitman-related collections in the world, including manuscripts, rare books, prints and photographs. Collection items range from handwritten drafts of poems and early prose writings to rare editions of “Leaves of Grass,” Whitman’s eyeglasses and walking stick and the most famous studio portraits taken in his lifetime. The manuscript collections are digitized and available online, as are many photographs.

The Whitman Bicentennial series is part of a yearlong initiative in 2019 inviting visitors to Explore America’s Changemakers.
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By the People Crowdsourcing Campaign

April 24 - June 

The Library’s crowdsourcing initiative “By the People” will launch a campaign April 24 to enlist the public to help transcribe more than 121,000 pages of Whitman’s writings and papers to make them more searchable and accessible online. Documents selected for transcription will include samples of Whitman’s poetry, prose and correspondence, including versions of poems such as “Oh Captain! My Captain!” and fragments of poems Whitman published in more finished form in “Leaves of Grass.”

This is also a special opportunity for teachers and students to engage with Whitman’s creative process. Drafts and portions of his poems at various stages of composition reveal his active, creative mind, as well as his innovative ways of seeing the world and wordsmithing poetic expressions.

The Library will collaborate with the National Council of Teachers of English to host a Transcribe-a-Thon webinar on April 24 at 4 p.m. Eastern time. The one-hour event will bring together experts from the Library, NCTE and educators to discuss how students can analyze, transcribe, review and tag the Whitman papers. Registration is open to all and available here.
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Whitman Bicentennial Display
May 16 - Aug. 15

To mark the 200th anniversary of Whitman’s birth, the Library will display poetry, images and ephemera from Whitman’s life in the Thomas Jefferson Building. Five cases will display Whitman’s handwritten drafts, published poems, original letters, portraits and other rarely seen materials.

The display will retrace Whitman’s life, from his birthplace on Long Island, New York, his rise as an American poet, his life in Washington - including his intimate relationship with Peter Doyle, his care for Civil War soldiers and his admiration for Abraham Lincoln - his hands-on involvement with the design and publication of his poetry collection “Leaves of Grass” and pop culture references to Whitman and his legacy. It was “Leaves of Grass,” his break-through work of free verse celebrating democracy, sexuality, human potential, universalism and the natural world, that would earn Whitman worldwide fame.
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Whitman in Culpeper
Thursday, May 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Packard Campus Theater, Culpeper, Virginia.

For two months in early 1864, Walt Whitman resided in Culpeper, Virginia, while serving as a volunteer in the Army of the Potomac’s nearby field hospitals. Despite the ravages the war had visited upon the area, Whitman described Culpeper as “one of the pleasantest towns in Virginia.”

Local historian Bud Hall will present a talk at the Library’s Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper about Whitman’s time in the area, followed by a screening of “Shenandoah” (Universal, 1965). Jimmy Stewart stars as a Virginia farmer intent on keeping his family out of the Civil War, but with the battles being fought almost literally on his doorstep, struggles to maintain his neutrality.
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Happy Birthday Walt! - Digitized Walt Whitman Collections from the Manuscript Division
Thursday, May 30, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Manuscript Division historian Barbara Bair will host a webinar highlighting the content and research use of three digitized manuscript collections: the Walt Whitman Collection of miscellaneous manuscripts; the Charles Feinberg collection of Walt Whitman Papers; and the Thomas Harned collection of Walt Whitman Papers. She will also discuss programs celebrating Whitman’s birthday at the Library of Congress. More information is available here.
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Walt Whitman’s Birthday Party
Saturday, June 1, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Young Readers Center will host a day for families that will celebrate Whitman and his legacy on June 1 in the Thomas Jefferson Building. Activities will include an author talk from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., featuring author Robert Burleigh and illustrator Sterling Hundley discussing their book “O Captain, My Captain: Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War;” a birthday party for Whitman at 11 a.m.; and a book signing at 11:15 a.m. A Whitman butterfly maker activity and handouts of “Walt Whitman’s Guide to Nature Walking” will be available all day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., visiting families are also invited to participate in the Library’s crowdsourcing initiative “By the People” and help transcribe selections from Whitman’s writings and papers to make them more searchable and accessible online.
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Walt Whitman Open House
Monday, June 3, from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

The Library of Congress will present a Walt Whitman Open House display in Room 119 of the Thomas Jefferson Building, supplementing the ongoing Whitman Bicentennial Display with even more treasures from the Library’s collections. The Open House will feature a special array of rarely seen Walt Whitman collection items from the Manuscript, Rare Book, Music, and Prints and Photographs divisions, as well as Serials and General Collections. The display will include items pertaining to Whitman’s time in Washington, but also other materials from throughout his life, including the walking cane given to him by nature writer John Burroughs, draft poems, artistic renderings of Whitman and rare editions of “Leaves of Grass.”

As part of the celebration, the Library’s Poetry and Literature Center will host a special showing of the new documentary short film “Walt Whitman: Poet Citizen,” directed by Haydn Reiss and Zinc Films and produced in association with the Poetry Foundation. Filmed in part at the Library of Congress, “Walt Whitman: Poet Citizen” features Poets Laureate Tracy K. Smith and Robert Hass, among other poets, discussing Whitman’s life, poetry and legacy.

A reading of Whitman’s poems from his Washington years will follow at the Folger Shakespeare Library that evening.

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The J. Paul Getty Museum Presents “The Wondrous Cosmos in Medieval Manuscripts”

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 57, fol. 176v

The Celestial Virgin and Child, about 1420. Tempera colors, gold, and ink on parchment. 

Los Angeles – The cosmos—full of shining stars and orbiting planets—inspired works of art and literature throughout the Middle Ages (about 500-1500). Awe-inspiring cosmic phenomena were thought to inform every aspect of a person’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being, provoking students of medicine, philosophy, and religion carefully to track the progress of the twelve signs of the zodiac and the celestial luminaries (the sun and moon) across the sky. The Wondrous Cosmos in Medieval Manuscripts, on view April 30-July 28, 2019, at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, explores the complexity of the celestial realm in medieval European faith and science traditions through the art of illuminated manuscripts and printed books.

“In the Middle Ages, people knew a considerable amount about the cosmos,” says Getty Museum Director Timothy Potts. “Manuscripts produced in Western Europe, for example, reveal a wealth of information about the ancient Classical and Near Eastern origins of astrology, based on a sophisticated knowledge of the solar system and constellations that was inherited by Islamic scholars and transmitted to Europe in medieval and Renaissance times.”

The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Ms. 57, fol. 176v

The Celestial Virgin and Child, about 1420. Tempera colors, gold, and ink on parchment.

A medieval timepiece called a volvelle was used to calculate the positions of the sun, moon, and stars of the zodiac at various times during the year. By rotating layered parchment discs, one could indicate the phases of the moon, the number of days in each month, and the sign that governs each hour of the day. With this information calendars were made as a guide to days of religious observance and activities that suit the season, such as riding in springtime and preparing wine in the summer.

Students of medicine carefully observed the relationship between the celestial luminaries and the twelve signs of the zodiac and divined the effect on one’s physical well-being. Medieval doctors developed the ancient technique of bloodletting, or withdrawing blood, a preventative and curative practice intended to balance bodily fluids, or humors, to keep an individual in good health. They made diagrams to show which of the major bodily veins should be selected for bloodletting based on the appropriate phase of the moon, time of year, or auspicious astral portents. Many people—astrologers, rulers, priests, and individuals of all classes—believed that each zodiac symbol had a power over a part of the body (Aries governed the head and Pisces the feet, for instance).

In writings about the celestial realm of heaven, theologians discussed the nature of angels, saints, and ultimately God. Peoples of various religions believed that the radiant sun, full moon, twinkling stars, and distant planets held great power over their lives, the seasons, and daily activities, or that God, spirits, demonic forces, and deceased souls could traverse the veil between heaven and earth. The belief in angels, demons, and spirits in turn inspired wondrous works of art, especially on the pages of illuminated manuscripts.

“The exhibition demonstrates the close relationship between astronomy—the study of the physics of cosmic phenomena—and astrology, which seeks to correlate these celestial events with happenings on earth,” said Bryan C. Keene, associate curator of manuscripts. “Although we might now separate faith from science—or the sciences from the humanities and art—these categories were more closely aligned in the Middle Ages, as seen on the pages of illuminated manuscripts.”

The Wondrous Cosmos in Medieval Manuscripts will be on view April 30-July 28, 2019, at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center. Related programming will include:

  • Drinking in the Past: Wine and Astrology from the Middle Ages to Today, a lecture and tasting program with curator Bryan C. Keene and certified sommelier Mark Mark Keene that explores the relationship between the history of wine and astrology, on Saturday, June 1 and Sunday, June 2 (tickets $65 including appetizers and wine tasting).
  • Creation and Cosmos in the Twelfth Century: Hildegard’s Cosmic Egg, on Sunday, June 23. Join Margot Fassler, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, on a journey through the stages of creation according to the Book of Genesis and a 12th-century, egg-shaped model of the universe as envisioned by the German nun, visionary, and scientist Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179).

Additional information on public programs can be found at getty.edu/360.

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Sale of Karl Lagerfeld Original Fashion Drawings Attracts Intense Worldwide Bidding

West Palm Beach, FL —On April 18, runway action halted temporarily as fashionistas worldwide grabbed their mobile devices to bid in Urban Culture Auctions’ sale of original sketches by the late Chanel mastermind Karl Lagerfeld (1933-2019). After weeks of relentless media coverage, the auction of fashion drawings from Lagerfeld’s days as a budding couturier had finally arrived. By the time the hammer came down on the last lot 4½ hours later, the auction had realized $247,520 and was 100% sold.

“The auction far exceeded our expectations. We had many new-bidder sign-ups, and from everywhere you can imagine - Russia, Australia, Japan, probably a dozen European countries, and all over the United States,” said auctioneer and Urban Culture Auctions co-owner Rico Baca. “Here at the gallery we served our Palm Beach-area guests refreshments of champagne, fresh strawberries and Godiva chocolates but didn’t serve a meal as we usually do, because there were only 125 lots. We thought the sale would be over in less than two hours, but we obviously underestimated the power of Karl Lagerfeld. He was in charge.”

All of the drawings were created in the 1960s when Lagerfeld worked for the House of Tiziani in Rome. Many bore his handwritten notations in the margins and some had swatches of original fabric attached. The artworks are especially rare because Lagerfeld routinely discarded anything he viewed as extraneous. “If those designs had not been kept in the Tiziani archive and preserved by two subsequent owners, they would have been lost forever. We hope some of them will end up in fashion museums, as they are so precious,” Baca said.

Most of the drawings ended up selling for about mid-estimate, and many sold for the high estimate or more. “We thought the bidding might calm down as the sale progressed, but bidding was intense to the very last lot,” Baca said.

Among the top sellers was a black-and-white drawing of a chic three-piece mini-skirted suit with matching hat, which sold for $4,550 against an estimate of $500-$1,500; and a similarly estimated full-color drawing of a floor-length peasant-style dress, which garnered $2,990. A sketch depicting a floaty off-white evening gown with feathery tiered layers adorning its A-line skirt and elbow-length sleeves was bid to $2,860; while a slinky depiction of a model wearing a black tee top and matching wide-flared trousers closed at $2,730. Both lots had been estimated at $500-$1,500.

To discuss consigning any quality item of vintage pop culture memorabilia to a future Urban Culture Auctions sale, call 561-586-5500 or email uca@modernauctions.com. Visit them online at www.urbancultureauctions.com.

All prices shown in this report are inclusive of a 30% buyer’s premium.

Image: Lot 52 - Karl Lagerfeld (German, 1933-2019), original drawing on card stock of elegant evening gown with feathery tiers and sleeve adornments.Sold for $2,860. Courtesy of Urban Culture Auctions, a division of Palm Beach Modern Auctions.

Waverly Rare Books to Conduct May 2 Judaica Auction

Marc Chagall illustrationFalls Church, VA -- Waverly Rare Books, a division of Quinn’s Auction Galleries, will present a special Collectors Series Judaica auction on May 2 featuring historically important books, art, scrolls and artifacts. A prized selection of items comes from the estate of Rabbi Joshua O. Haberman (1919-2017), who had strong ties to the Washington, D.C., area.

Born in Austria, Rabbi Haberman was attending a Jewish rabbinical seminary in Europe when World War II broke out. He left for the United States and went on to spend 18 rewarding years as rabbi for the Washington Hebrew Congregation. His collection includes a fascinating variety of books on Judaism, Jewish history, literature, theology and 19th-century German philosophy.

Other featured items in the Rabbi Haberman collection include Hebrew prayer books, two 17th-century bibles printed in Amsterdam, a copy of Marc Chagall’s Illustrations for the Bible, the first publication of an essay by Edmund Husserl titled The Crisis of European Sciences. Devotional objects include Rabbi Haberman’s gragger, shofar, Scroll of Esther, and a pair of menorahs. Also coming to auction from the Haberman collection, and other consignors, are paintings and prints by Afroyim Soshana, Yaacov Agam, Caspar Mine, and Yosi Stern.

A non-kosher Torah scroll originating from Eastern Europe is complete with modern rollers and mantel, and has sections that vary in age from earlier to more modern. It has an estimate of $4,000-$6,000. Also, a copy of the first American edition of Chagall’s Illustrations for the Bible (1956, Harcourt, Brace & Co., N.Y.), in a very rare dustjacket and featuring 17 lithographs in color (including the title page, plus 12 in black and white), should hammer for $1,500-$2,500.

A heavy wove construction artwork with serigraph by Yaacov Agam (Israeli, b. 1928-), titled Tribute of the People of Israel to the People of the United States (1985), #230 from an edition of 900, signed in marker and editioned in pencil, should hit $400-$600; and two signed works by Afroyim Soshana (Austrian, 1927-2015), both watercolor and gouache on paper and depicting the sin and impending destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, carry an estimate of $300-$500.

A 20th-century oil-on-board artwork titled Portrait of a Rabbi by Caspar Mine (German-French, b. 1905-), is artist-signed and framed with a gallery label on verso. Its pre-sale estimate is $300-$500. Also, a papier-mâché, acrylic and wire sculpture depicting King David, created by the 20th-century American artist Phillip Ratner, is signed in gold at lower left and comes to auction with a $200-$400 estimate.

A folio leaf from the first issue (1611) of the King James Bible, The First Book of Moses (called Genesis 1: 1-18), framed together with a facsimile frontispiece, is expected to knock down $500-$700.

Also from the Haberman collection, two kinetic brass menorahs with removable, rotatable arms will be offered as one lot with a $100-$150 estimate. An ideal placement might be atop Rabbi Haberman’s personal desk. Made by Sligh Furniture, the leather-topped kneehole desk has three upper drawers with brass handles over four lower drawers (two double drawers). Together with the chair Rabbi Haberman chose to use with the desk, the duo is paired at auction with an estimate of $200-$300. A wooden gragger for use during Purim, bearing Haberman’s initials, lotted together with another gragger and shofar, come to auction with an $80-$100 estimate.

Waverly Rare Books’ 171-lot specialty auction will be conducted live at Quinn’s Auction Galleries, 360 South Washington Street in Falls Church, Virginia, with all forms of bidding available. Bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com. Previews will be held Monday, April 29 from 10-5, and Tuesday-Thursday, April 30-May 2, from 10-6.

For additional information about any item in the Thursday, May 2 auction, to leave an absentee bid or to reserve a phone line on auction day, call 703-532-5632, extension 575; or e-mail waverly@quinnsauction.com. Visit them online at http://www.quinnsauction.com. Waverly Rare Books is always accepting consignments for future auctions.

Image: Lot 79: First American edition copy of Chagall’s Illustrations for the Bible (1956, Harcourt, Brace & Co., N.Y.), in a very rare dustjacket and featuring 17 lithographs in color, est. $1,500-$2,500.

 

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A Record for Peruvian Photographer Martín Chambi at Swann Galleries

Martín Chambi albumNew York — Swann Galleries’ sale of Classic & Contemporary Photographs on Thursday, April 18 saw active bidding across all categories with early-twentieth-century photography, Humanist portraits and sublime images of nature making an impact.

Vernacular photography led the sale with a personal album, compiled by Herbert Heard Evans, containing 118 silver prints depicting the city and region of Cusco, Peru, as well as other parts of Latin America in the 1920s. Sixteen of the images were attributed to Peruvian photographer Martín Chambi. Evans was the Assistant Superintendent of the Mechanical Division of the Panama Canal from 1919-42, and during his station he and his wife traveled extensively throughout South America. The album reached $58,750 after a lengthy bidding war, a record for images by Chambi.

Early-twentieth-century works included Alfred Stieglitz’s publication Camera Work with Number 36, 1911, complete with 17 photogravures by Stieglitz, and Number 49-50, 1917, edited by Stieglitz with 10 photogravures by Paul Strand ($17,500 and $16,250, respectively). Also of note was an album of 55 photographs by Wilson A. Bentley, all but four of his groundbreaking images of snow crystals ($22,500) and Man Ray’s 1931 Electricité, with 10 photogravures after the artist’s Rayographs ($37,500).

Poignant portraits by Dorothea Lange proved be popular with buyers. Korean Child, printed 1960s, taken during Lange’s 1958 trip through Asia, set a record for the image at $20,000. Migratory Cotton Picker, Eloy, Arizona, 1940, printed circa 1966, brought $15,000.

Additional works capturing quotidian subjects included Roman Vishniac’s 1936-38 portfolio The Vanished World, printed 1977, complete with 12 silver prints of people in Eastern Europe ($22,500); a choice suite of five silver prints from Graciela Iturbide’s 1979-89 series Mujeres de Juchitan, printed circa 1990 ($15,000); and Brassaï’s 1932 silver print of an amorous Parisian couple Couple d’amoureux, quartier place d’Italie, Paris, printed circa 1970 ($21,250).

Ansel Adams’ Portfilio Three:Yosemite National Park, 1929-50, printed 1960, complete with 16 silver prints, letterpress colophon and the title page with Adams’ introduction, brought $57,500. Other images capturing nature included Adams’ Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, 1960, printed 1979 ($22,500), and Untitled (snowy landscape), 1970-74, by Robert Adams ($13,750). Hiroshi Sugimoto’s 1991 Time Exposed portfolio, with 50 plates of dreamlike seascapes, earned a record for the set at $20,000.

Each of the five photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe sold: highlights included Lisa Lyon, an oversized silver print from 1980-82, that set a record for an image of Lyon at $50,000, as well as two male nude portraits: Eric, 1980, and an untitled silver print from 1981 ($11,700 and $12,500, respectively).

Daile Kaplan, Swann Galleries Director of Photographs & Photobooks, noted “The sale reflected competitive interest in blue chip materials, with works by Ansel Adams, Brassaï and Robert Mapplethorpe garnering strong prices, and portfolios by Man Ray and Hiroshi Sugimoto selling very well. Swann’s dedication to offering the best examples of vernacular photography attracted major American and European collectors, who continue to explore photography in relation to visual culture.”   

The next auction from Swann Galleries’ Photographs & Photobooks Department will be held in October 2019. The house is currently accepting quality consignments. Visit swanngalleries.com for more about selling at Swann.

Image: Lot 251: Album with 118 photographs, 16 attributed to Martín Chambi, depicting different regions of South America, silver prints, 1920s. Sold for $58,750, a record for images by Chambi.

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Bond Abounds in Literature Auction at Swann on May 14

Ian Fleming first editionsNew York -- Nineteenth- and twentieth-century luminaries, science-fiction and more form Swann Galleries’ 19th & 20th Century Literature auction on Tuesday, May 14, with an impressive run of 14 James Bond novels by Ian Fleming.

Significant material by the man behind James Bond includes a first edition of Casino Royale, 1953, Fleming’s earliest Bond novel (Estimate: $12,000-18,000). A first edition, presentation copy of Thunderball, 1961, features with an inscription to Charles Douglas Jackson, the Deputy Chief at the Psychological Warfare Division at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force in the U.K., and friend of Fleming’s who was revealed to be a CIA agent following his death in 1964. A first edition of Goldfinger, 1959, is signed and inscribed to Sir Henry Cotton, MBE, a noteworthy professional golfer ($12,000-18,000, each). Also present is the rarest Bond title of all: a first edition, first impression of The Man with the Golden Gun, 1965, that has the gilt gun stamped on the front cover ($6,000-9,000).

The sale is led by a scarce presentation copy of Security Analysis, 1934, likely the first known to bear the signature of its principal author, Benjamin Graham. This first edition, second printing, is inscribed to a Wall Street trader who was a contemporary of the author and is estimated at $18,000 to $25,000.

Early twentieth-century titles of note include the first American edition of Virginia Woolf’s first book, The Voyage Out, 1920, in the rare dusk jacket, of which only two have been traced at auction ($2,000-3,000). A first edition in the dust jacket with cover art that reproduces the frontispiece of Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera, 1911, will have its inaugural auction appearance ($12,000-18,000). Also of note: a first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, 1929, signed and inscribed to an Eleanor, with a note indicating that the book belonged to Eleanor Young-the niece of Georgia O’Keeffe ($3,500-5,000).

A signed first edition of Hugo Gernsback’s Ralph 124C 41+. A Romance of the Year 2660, 1925-one of the foundational texts in the science-fiction pantheon-comes across the block estimated at $7,000 to $10,000. Fresh-to-market Ray Bradbury material from the estate of Stanley Simon includes signed typescripts Way in the Middle of the Air and Payment in Full, late 1940s ($400-600 and $500-750, respectively), signed screen and stage treatments for Something Wicked This Way Comes, 1976, ($300-400), and all manner of ephemera. Also of note is a first edition of H.P. Lovecraft’s The Outsider and Others, 1939, with the author’s signature laid-in. The work is the first collection of Lovecraft’s writing as well as the first book published by Arkham House, and is expected to bring $2,000 to $3,000.

From the nineteenth century comes Ralph Waldo Emerson’s copy of the reconstituted issue of the Transcendentalist periodical The Dial: A Magazine for Literature, Philosophy, and Religion, 1860, with notations in his hand ($2,500-3,500). The publication features first appearances in print by Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. A signed author’s edition of Leaves of Grass, 1876, by Walt Whitman ($4,000-6,000), as well as the first American edition of Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, 1885, with key first-issue points, will be on offer ($2,500-3,500).
Spectacular bindings include the limited Saint Dunstan edition of Shakespeare’s Sonnets, 1901, bound by Trautz-Bauzonnet and illuminated throughout by Nestore Leoni. The present copy is 11 of 30, with 18 having been reserved for sale in America and 12 for Europe, estimated at $6,000 to $9,000.

Exhibition opening in New York City May 10. The complete catalogue and bidding information is available at swanngalleries.com and on the Swann Galleries App.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image:
Lot 130: Ian Fleming, The Man with the Golden Gun, first edition, first state with the golden gun on the front cover, London, 1965. Estimate $6,000 to $9,000.
Lot 124: Ian Fleming, Casino Royale, first edition, first impression, in unrestored first state dustjacket, London, 1953. Estimate $12,000 to $18,000.
Lot 134: Ian Fleming, Thunderball, first edition, presentation copy, inscribed to friend & former CIA agent Charles Douglass Jackson, London, 1961. Estimate $8,000 to $12,000.

 

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Two Hunter S. Thompson Letters to be Auctioned

Hunter S Thompson Letter 56115b_lg.jpegLos Angeles - An pair of extraordinary letters by Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on April 25, 2019.

Thompson sent the letter being auctioned to his friend Paul Semonin in early June 1961 from Big Sur. Semonin was Thompson’s Louisville, Kentucky childhood friend.

The letter reads in part, “now midnight - up at 6:30 tomorrow for hard shot at $3.22 per hr. highway const. Job...am working fitfully on Great PR novel - The Rum Diary. Also building windows, skinning deer, scaling fish, raising one motherless fawn, building swimming pool, stalking boar & generally raising hell. Playboy bounced B.S. & it is now circulating for the booby prize...Anyway, pay your debts & come by for a visit. The Jew…”

Bidding for the letter begins at $2,500.

Additional information on the letter can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Hunter_S__Thompson_Autograph_Letter_Signed___The_J-LOT52055.aspx

Thompson wrote the  second letter being auctioned on the opposite side of a typed satire debate entitled ''THE GREAT DEBATE'', with a fictional exchange between Kennedy and Nixon. Thompson wrote regarding Kennedy's Presidential victory, ''Ok weedsucker - we got the touchdown - where do we go from here?'' 

Bidding for the letter begins at $2,000.

Additional information on the letter can be found at 
https://natedsanders.com/Hunter_S__Thompson_Autograph_Letter_Shortly_After_-LOT52056.aspx

 

 

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Printed & Manuscript Americana Realizes $1 Million at Swann

Lot 113-Wilson copy.jpgNew York - Swann Galleries’ Printed & Manuscript Americana sale on Thursday, April 16 was the house’s third straight sale is the category to finish over $1,000,000, bringing several significant records. Institutions made up the bulk of the buyers. Specialist Rick Stattler commented: “The market remains vigorous for scarce and important material, with five-figure highlights in all of our main subject areas: early American imprints, the American Revolution, Civil War, Mormons, the West, and Latin Americana.”

Mexican imprints proved to be popular with six earning top prices in the sale. Highlights included a first edition 1674 pamphlet by famed Mexican poetess Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, consisting of Christmas carols to be sung in honor of the thirteenth-century St. Pedro Nolasco. It set a record for the author at $45,000. Juan Navarro’s 1604 Liber in quo quatuor passions Christi Domini continentur, the first music by a New World composer printed in the Americas, earned $32,500, and a first edition of Alonso de Molina’s 1565 full-length confessional manual with instructions on the administration of the sacraments, written in Nahuatl and Spanish, brought $21,250. Mexican manuscripts featured an extensive illustrated file detailing a land dispute between a ranch owner and his Nahua neighbors, with 350 manuscript pages ($30,000).

“The successful sale of the Holzer Lincolniana collection last fall brought in a strong group of related material for this auction, including our top lot, a beautiful portrait of Lincoln by Matthew Henry Wilson,” said Stattler-the artist’s copy of the last portrait rendered from life set a record for Wilson at $55,000. Other Lincoln and Civil War material of note included a newspaper extra from Detroit announcing Lincoln’s assassination, which topped its high estimate at $15,000, a likely record for any newspaper with that news, and Benson Lossing’s Pictorial History of the Civil War of the United States of America, 1866-68, ($15,000). 

Texas material was led by the manuscript diary of William Farrar Smith documenting the 1849 Whiting-Smith Expedition to form a trail from San Antonio to El Paso ($47,500) and a first edition of Batholomé Garcia’s Manual para Administrar los Santos Sacramentos, 1760, the only early work published in the Pakawan language ($13,000). 

Lots relating to the early days of America included the May 6, 1775 issue of the Virginia Gazette which reports first-hand accounts of the battles of Lexington and Concord, at $12,500, and a journal of contemporary manuscript notes dated 1788, from the Massachusetts convention to ratify the Federal Constitution, emphasizing the need for a Bill of Rights and for sovereignty of the states, at $16,250.

Additional auction records included a rare corrected variant of the 1852 Liverpool Book of Mormon, which brought $41,600, a record for any European Mormon publication, as well as an 1850s whaling diary kept by captain’s wife Alida Taber, which earned the highest known price for a woman’s whaling dairy, at $15,000.

The next auction from Swann Galleries’ Books & Manuscripts Department will be 19th & 20th Century Literature on May 14. Visit swanngalleries.com or download the Swann Galleries App for catalogues, bidding and inquires.          

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 113: Matthew Henry Wilson, Abraham Lincoln, oil on canvas, an artist’s copy of the last portrait rendered from life, 1865. Sold for $55,000.

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Einstein Letter Defending his Jewish Heritage to be Auctioned

Albert Einstein Letter Signed 57934b_lg.jpegLos Angeles - A fascinating letter by Albert Einstein on the Jewish People’s rights to defend themselves will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on April 25, 2019.  
Albert Einstein wrote the June 10, 1939 letter, postmarked from Princeton to E.J. Brown of the famed Arnold Constable & Co. department store, who worked on behalf of the refugees during Dedication Week. 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 $20,000. In March, Nate D. Sanders sold a similar Einstein letter for $134,344. https://natedsanders.com/LotDetail.aspx?inventoryid=51535

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

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