April 2018 Archives

108-Ubik copy.jpgNew York—Cornerstones of science fiction from the Estate of Stanley Simon form the backbone of Swann Galleries’ May 15 auction of 19th & 20th Century Literature.

Stanley Simon was a passionate, dedicated, life-long collector of sci-fi, thriller and fantasy first editions as well as photography from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Offered at Swann are almost 100 first editions, nearly all of them signed. Of particular note is a signed first edition of Philip K. Dick’s Ubik, 1969, with an estimate of $4,000 to $6,000, and the galley proof of Valis, 1987 ($4,000 to $6,000), neither of which are known to have appeared at auction before.

Also from Simon’s collection comes a significant run of Stephen King’s masterpieces, including the deluxe limited edition of The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger, 1982, signed by King and illustrator Michael Whelan, and a signed and inscribed first edition of his first novel, Carrie, 1974 ($2,500 to $3,500 and $1,200 to $1,800, respectively). Also available is the deluxe limited edition in zippered black leather of Skeleton Crew, 1985, previously in the collection of the illustrator, J.K. Potter, in which he wrote, “This, my own contributors copy, is for Stanley Simon.” The estimate is $2,000 to $3,000. Making their auction debuts are the galley proof of The Shining, 1977, signed and inscribed ($800 to $1,200), and the uncorrected proof of The Stand, 1990, inscribed to Stanley, carrying an estimate of $700 to $1,000.

Additional highlights from the Stanley Simon Estate include the first edition of Delos W. Lovelace’s novelization of King Kong, 1932, inscribed by creator Marcel Delgado and actress Fay Wray, who wrote, “Dear Stanley - With memories of King Kong both for you and Fay Wray.” The association copy carries an estimate of $4,500 to $6,000. Also available is the complete Foundation trilogy, 1951-53, by Isaac Asimov. Each of the three novels, the winner of The Hugo Award for best all-time series, is a first edition signed by the author, still in its original dust jacket ($4,500 to $6,000). Important editions of Ray Bradbury’s magnum opus Fahrenheit 451, 1953, are led by the limited author’s edition personally inscribed to Simon ($6,000 to $9,000).

Leading the auction is the first edition of Ernest Hemingway’s first book, Three Stories & Ten Poems, 1923, printed by Maurice Darantière, who also printed James Joyce's Ulysses, a first English edition of which will also be offered ($20,000 to $30,000 and $2,500 to $3,500, respectively).

Also available is the first auction appearance of a copy in the third issue jacket, notable for its orange lettering, of the true first edition of Anne Frank’s diary, Het Achterhuis, 1947, with an estimate of $7,000 to $10,000.

Nineteenth-century highlights include a set of the first editions of Emily Dickinson’s first three books of poetry, 1890-96, together estimated at $10,000 to $15,000. Highlights by the father of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe, include the seldom-seen first separate American edition of The Raven, circa 1870, with 18 wood-engraved illustrations, estimated at $1,000 to $1,500, and the first printing of The Murders in the Rue Morgue, 1841. Hailed as the first detective story, it was published in the April edition of Graham’s Magazine ($1,000 to $1,500). Also available is the first edition in fragile wrappers of Christabel: Kubla Khan, A Vision; The Pains of Sleep, 1816, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, with an estimate of $5,000 to $7,500.

The complete catalogue with bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com. Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 108: Philip K. Dick, Ubik, first edition, signed, Garden City, 1969. Estimate $4,000 to $6,000.

Dallas, TX - Patrick Nagel’s Nude on Back with Black Stockings, 1983 soared beyond pre-auction estimates, selling for $106,250, and two new artist records were set in Heritage Auctions’ Illustration Art Auction April 24 in Dallas.

The acrylic on canvas, which is signed and dated by the artist, was the top lot in the event that brought in a total of $1,429,429.25 for the sale of 449 lots. The price paid for the auction’s top lot is the 10th-best ever paid for a Nagel work at Heritage Auctions, which now has sold 12 works by the artist for six-figure returns.

“Patrick Nagel’s artwork has been extremely popular with collectors for decades, and the prices for his works have really taken off in recent years because of the increasing demand,” Heritage Auctions Senior Vice President for Fine & Decorative Arts Ed Jaster said. “More and more collectors are turning to Heritage Auctions for hard-to-find artwork from the beak of popular culture, and Patrick Nagel’s artwork is one of the major reasons behind that trend.”

Alberto Vargas Martini Time, 1935 nearly tripled its low pre-auction estimate when competitive bidding drove its result to $87,500, the fifth-highest amount paid through Heritage Auctions for a Vargas painting. The auction included 11 Vargas works - four originals and seven prints; each of the four originals yielded at least $15,000.

Margaret Brundage’s A Rival from the Grave, Weird Tales magazine cover, January 1936, which came from the estate of John McLaughlin, sparked a flurry of bids before finishing at $71,875, a new auction record for the artist. The cover scene for Seabury Quinn’s A Rival from the Grave is perhaps the most well-known image from the artist, whose iconic Weird Tales covers are extremely rare.

The second work in the auction from Nagel, Joanna, brought $68,750. The image of former actress Joanna Cassidy is one of the most popular by the artist who was known for balancing erotic, evocative images with unwavering respect for women.

Multiple collectors bid on Gil Elvgren Perfection, 1948 until it realized $57,500. Considered one of the most important pin-up artists of the 20th century, Elvgren combined his pin-up painting with images for advertising images, preferring the “girl next door” type over traditional models. This painting also was reproduced as figure 163 in Gil Elvgren All His Glamorous American Pin-Ups, by Charles G. Martignette and Louis K. Meisel (Taschen, 1999).

Nearly two dozen bidders drove Boris Vallejo Mysterious Rider, The New St. Marks Baths advertisement, 1978 to a final price of $40,000, which topped the high pre-auction estimate by 700 percent and established a new record for any Vallejo work sold at auction. This image was famously used in 1980s advertisements for The New St. Marks Baths, in St. Marks Place in New York City.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

·       Alberto Vargas Nude with Phone (Jeanne Dean), 1946: $27,500

·       Gil Elvgren Girl on Bicycle, NAPA Auto Parts advertisement, circa 1975: $25,848.75

·       American Artist Kelly's Heroes, movie poster, 1970: $25,000

·       Drew Struzan Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, poster study, 1989: $25,000


Federalist PBA.jpgPBA Galleries is pleased to offer an exceptional, complete copy of the 1788 first edition of The Federalist in our May 31st Americana auction. The Federalist is the single most important book published in North America with this copy being an exceptionally clean copy, a rare example printed on thick superfine royal writing paper.

The first edition of the seminal work on American political theory and a cornerstone of American constitutional governance, called by Wright Howes “the most famous and influential American political work.” Only 500 copies of the first edition were printed, and the present copy is one of the exceptionally rare examples printed on thick superfine royal writing paper. These copies were advertised by the publisher M’Lean in contemporary periodicals as the more deluxe version of this seminal document: “A few Copies will be printed on superfine royal writing paper, price ten shillings.” The importance of the Federalist to the early development of the great political experiment that was the United States cannot be overstated. The work comprised 85 political essays, all but the last 8 of which were first published in newspapers in New York, in an effort to convince New York to approve the Federalist Constitution. Alexander Hamilton wrote 51 of the essays, James Madison 14, and John Jay 5; the authorship of 15 of the essays is in dispute between Hamilton and Madison. They were all published under the pseudonym “Publius.” The first thirty-six numbers of The Federalist were here published in book form in March 1788, with the remaining forty-nine, together with the text of the Constitution, in May of that year. Upon its publication George Washington noted to Alexander Hamilton that the work “will merit the Notice of Posterity; because in it are candidly and ably discussed the principles of freedom and the topics of government, which will always be interesting to mankind” (George Washington, letter to Hamilton, Aug. 28, 1788). The present copy has an early and bold ink ownership signature at the top of p.[1] of each volume, “Lawr. Stuart” or possibly “James Stuart”; the very top of each of the signatures was slightly shaved when the volumes were bound, likely prior to 1820 or so. Church 1230; Evans 21127; Grolier, 100 American, 19; Howes H114; Printing and the Mind of Man 234; Sabin 23979; Streeter 1049. Provenance: Helen A. [Doolittle] and George R. Sanders.

With some rubbing to covers and spines, corners a bit worn, joints scuffed and tender; only a few instances of minor foxing within, overall very clean and fine internally, the stitching quite tight. It has been in the same private collection for at least the last fifty years. The estimate is set at $80,000-$120,000.

You can view the complete entry and multiple images online at http://www.pbagalleries.com/content/2018/04/12/first-complete-edition-of-the-federalist-papers-in-book-form/

PBA Galleries holds sales of fine, rare and collectible books every two weeks.  For more information regarding upcoming sales, consignments, or auction results, please contact PBA Galleries at (415) 989-2665 or pba@pbagalleries.com

a-view-endeavour-watering-place-alexander-buchan copy.jpgMarking 250 years since James Cook’s ship Endeavour set sail from Plymouth, James Cook: The Voyages (27 April to 28 August 2018) explores Cook’s three world-changing voyages through stunning artworks, original maps and handwritten journals.

From iconic depictions of people and landscapes by expedition artists Sydney Parkinson, John Webber and William Hodges to an evocative collection of drawings by Polynesian high priest and navigator Tupaia, which are going on display together for the first time, James Cook: The Voyages will take visitors on a journey of discovery, from the Pacific Ocean to the Antarctic.

The exhibition will chart Cook’s three voyages, from the Endeavour setting sail from Plymouth in 1768 to the Resolution and Discovery returning to Britain in 1780 after Cook’s death in Hawaii. It will explore different perspectives on the voyages, from those on board the ships to those who saw them arrive on their shores, and will consider their legacy and relevance today.

Exhibition highlights include:

  • Paintings depicting Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia by the Polynesian high priest and navigator Tupaia, which are going on display as a group for the first time
  • The first chart of New Zealand by James Cook
  • The first artworks depicting the Antarctic by William Hodges on loan from the State Library of New South Wales, which will be reunited with James Cook’s handwritten journal entry describing the first crossing of the Antarctic Circle, for the first time in 100 years
  • Specimens from the first voyage, including the mouth parts of a squid, on loan from the Royal College of Surgeons
  • Expedition artist John Webber’s watercolour landscapes, including the first European illustrations of Hawai’i
  • Jewellery and musical instruments, including a necklace from Tierra del Fuego, ceremonial rattle from Nootka Sound (Vancouver Island) and bamboo flute from Tahiti, on loan from Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge 
  • Natural history drawings, including the first European depiction of a kangaroo by Sydney Parkinson on loan from the Natural History Museum

The British Library holds pre-eminent collections from the voyages, including many original maps, artwork and journals produced on board ship, which will be displayed alongside films exploring contemporary views on Cook’s legacy in Australia, New Zealand and other places visited by the expeditions. Contemporary perspectives on the voyages, including people from the Pacific communities Cook visited, will also be explored through the Library’s accompanying web space (www.bl.uk/the-voyages-of-captain-james-cook) and public events programme.  

William Frame, co-curator of James Cook: The Voyages at the British Library, said:

‘The British Library holds many iconic artworks, charts and handwritten journals from James Cook’s voyages and the exhibition displays the most famous of these together, alongside key loans, for the first time in a generation. Through the exhibition and accompanying public programme visitors will be able to consider different perspectives on the voyages and to reflect on their meaning today.’ 

Laura Walker, co-curator of James Cook: The Voyages at the British Library, said:

‘In the exhibition, visitors will be able to follow the course of each voyage through eyewitness accounts, hand-drawn charts and stunning artwork created on board ship. Alongside these sources, recently commissioned films allow visitors to consider contemporary perspectives on the voyages and to examine their legacy, much of which remains highly contested today.’

The accompanying web space, which will be added to throughout the exhibition run, hosts a range of newly digitised collection items, audio-visual content and articles by academics, artists, journalists and community historians who present their views and responses to the Library’s exhibition and collections.

The British Library will also be hosting a series of photographs by Crystal Te Moananui-Squares, which present a contemporary encounter with Pacific communities in the United Kingdom as a creative response to the exhibition. The free display, entitled Tūhuratanga - Voyages of Discovery, will be located in the Library’s Second Floor Gallery from 6 July to 23 September 2018.

There will be a full programme of events, including talks, discussions and film screenings, inspired by the exhibition. April to June events can be found on the British Library’s What’s On pages, with a full programme of events available on request. Highlights include:

James Cook: The Voyages is supported by PONANT Yacht Cruises & Expeditions and the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust.

Image: 'A View of the Endeavour’s Watering Place in the Bay of Good Success’ by Alexander Buchan, 1769 (c) British Library Board.


d31c94afe21a5e639252b78f_1100x734.jpgNew York, NY — Known for exhibiting book designs by artists ranging from the Master of Catherine of Cleves to Andy Warhol, the Morgan Library & Museum will now showcase extraordinary works by New York City public school students. The month-long exhibition Inspiring and Illuminating the Classroom, on view in the lobby of the Morgan's Gilbert Court, is the culmination of the Morgan Book Project, a unique collaboration between the Morgan and NYC Department of Education. Now in its ninth year, this free and innovative program guides third to twelfth grade students as they write, illustrate, and bind their own illuminated manuscripts throughout the school year. 

On May 11, 2018, the museum will host the Morgan Book Project Awards Ceremony, honoring the 64 students whose exemplary works have been selected by jury of book professionals, artists, and school librarians. During the award ceremony in Gilder Lehrman Hall, students have the opportunity to display and celebrate their work in the presence of their teachers, principals, and families. 

By sparking interest in the book arts, NYC public school teachers and Morgan educators hope to inspire the next generation of artists, illustrators, and writers from diverse backgrounds. From October through March, students learn to apply traditional book art techniques and language arts skills to their own creative work. Throughout the process of book making, students draw upon the Morgan’s rich collection of illuminated manuscripts and learn about world history for inspiration. They also have the opportunity to make their own paint with traditional pigment sources such as malachite, saffron, insects, to adorn their work with a 22 karat gold leaf, and to use professional grade watercolor and Italian marble paper.

This year’s ceremony marks many important milestones for the program. In 2017, the Morgan became one of the first institutions to gain the status of official Continuing Teacher and Leader Education (CTLE) sponsor. In the past year, it expanded its high school curriculum to reach ninth, tenth, twelfth grade students as well, increasing participation in the 17-18 school year. After modifying its resources and schedule to assist teachers of students with special needs, the Morgan Book Project has also seen the highest participation by students with diverse needs and abilities in the project’s history. More recently, the Morgan tailored the learning experiences to the vast numbers of New York City pupils of non-Western backgrounds and installed multilingual educators in Title 1 participating schools.

“The Morgan Book Project is in many ways a pillar of our arts education initiatives,” said Colin B. Bailey, Director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “Students have the opportunity to not only see great works of art and literature up close, but also experience the creative process firsthand and develop their own gifts. It is wonderful to see such inspired engagement and enthusiasm for the book arts among school children, and we are proud to celebrate their accomplishments at the museum.” 

The Morgan Book Project is made possible by a generous grant from Marina Kellen French and the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation.

Image: Installation of student works at the Awards Ceremony. Photography by Emily Korn.

Amherst, MA — Together, Leo and Diane Dillon created illustrations of extraordinary beauty and cultural resonance, illuminating global stories of diverse subjects--from the Caldecott Medal-winning picture book Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears to the paperback covers of classic children's literature. The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art is pleased to present A Marriage of Artistry: Leo and Diane Dillon, on view from May 26, 2018 through November 25, 2018 in the Central Gallery.

Born 11 days apart on opposite sides of the country, Leo Dillon (1933-2012) and Diane Sorber (b. 1933) met as students at the Parsons School of Design in New York, where they became instant rivals and steadfast partners in life and art. They worked in concert for 50 years, demonstrating remarkable versatility and a mastery of media. No single style defines their art; they skillfully adopted different modes of expression to best illustrate each narrative. 

The Dillons are the only artists ever to win the Caldecott Medal in back-to-back years, and the exhibition features original art from those two distinguished books: Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People's Ears (1976) and Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions (1977). They produced art together in their Brooklyn brownstone, collaborating on every piece until Leo's passing in 2012. In a 2015 interview, Diane said, "We came to the concept of the 'third artist,' which was the combination of the two of us doing something that neither one of us could do separately. We would look at a piece after we finished it, and it'd be impossible for us to figure out who did what." The family collaboration extended to their son Lee, who sculpted several customized frames for his parents work, including the 50th edition cover art for C. S. Lewis's The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In the exhibition, a drawing activity emphasizes the art of collaboration by inviting visitors to work together on a shared picture.

Twenty-three titles are represented in A Marriage of Artistry: Leo and Diane Dillon, three of which Leo and Diane authored. Diane's first solo effort, I Can Be Anything! Don't Tell Me I Can't (2018), is also featured. The Dillon's extraordinary amalgamation of imagery illustrates African, Japanese, Inuit, and West Indian folklore, mythologies, and Biblical stories. Many of their books address African and African-American history. They dedicated themselves to portraying children of color so young readers could see themselves reflected in stories. As Leo noted in a 2002 interview, "We're an interracial couple, and we decided early in our career that we wanted to represent all races and show people that were rarely seen in children's books at the time." They illustrated the words of dozens of authors, including notable Newbery Medalist Virginia Hamilton, and fastidiously researched the cultures they portrayed.

"There is an astonishing range of emotions and artistic styles presented in the exhibition," says Ellen Keiter, the Museum's chief curator. "Some stories, like Jazz on a Saturday Night (2007), provide a joyful dance through history while others, such as The People Could Fly (2004) and Never Forgotten (2011), depict the haunting horrors of slavery." The Dillon's used acrylic, oil, watercolor, collage, pastel, gold leaf, and other media to create their imagery. Whatever the format or varied subject matter, their illustration is proof of their ability to master visual storytelling.

Gallery Talk:

A Marriage of Artistry: Leo and Diane Dillon

Thursday, May 31, 4:00 - 6:00 pm

Join Chief Curator Ellen Keiter for a guided gallery talk. A book signing with Diane Dillon and a light reception in the Great Hall will follow.  Free with Museum Admission, reservations suggested; call 413-559-6336.

About The Carle:

The mission of The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, a non-profit organization in Amherst, MA, is to inspire a love of art and reading through picture books. A leading advocate in its field, The Carle collects, preserves, presents, and celebrates picture books and picture-book illustrations from around the world. In addition to underscoring the cultural, historical, and artistic significance of picture books and their art form, The Carle offers educational programs that provide a foundation for arts integration and literacy.

Eric Carle and his wife, the late Barbara Carle, co-founded the Museum in November 2002. Carle is the renowned author and illustrator of more than 70 books, including the 1969 classic The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Since opening, the 43,000-square foot facility has served more than 750,000 visitors, including 50,000 schoolchildren. The Carle houses more than 11,000 objects, including 7,300 permanent collection illustrations. The Carle has three art galleries, an art studio, a theater, picture book and scholarly libraries, and educational programs for families, scholars, educators, and schoolchildren. Educational offerings include professional training for educators around the country and Master's degree programs in children's literature with Simmons College. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 am to 4 pm, Saturday 10 am to 5 pm, and Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm. Open Mondays in July and August and during MA school vacation weeks. Admission is $9 for adults, $6 for children under 18, and $22.50 for a family of four. For further information and directions, call (413) 559-6300 or visit the Museum's website at www.carlemuseum.org.

MS5BdWR1Ym9uLldpbnRlckhhd2suSlBH.jpegNew York - On June 14, 2018, collectors will have a rare chance to own one of the most sought-after books of natural history ever created: a full-size, complete first edition of John James Audubon’s The Birds of America (1827-1838).  Christie’s New York will offer in a special sale the exceptional “Duke of Portland” set of these 435 lushly hand-colored engravings (estimate: $8,000,000-12,000,000), among the most superlative copies in private hands of the finest color-plate book ever produced. Prior to the dedicated sale, the book will tour to Christie’s Los Angeles (April 26-28) and to Christie’s London (May 19-24), where it will be presented for public exhibition. Proceeds from this sale will benefit the Knobloch Family Foundation and its mission to preserve plants, animals and natural habitats through the protection and conservation of land and ecosystems, and to support the advancement of methods for valuing shared natural resources.

Audubon’s greatest triumph, The Birds of America, is considered one of the world’s most preeminent natural history documents and visually arresting works of art. Issued in 87 fascicles of five sheets each, the double-elephant-folio edition contains 435 hand-colored prints featuring 1,037 life-size birds, representing 500 species reflecting his determination to depict all the known species found in North America. This luxurious edition is the most spectacular color folio print series ever produced and is acknowledged as the finest work of colored engraving with aquatint in existence. The towering format of this work, a four-volume set of double-elephant folios over 3 feet in height, was dictated by Audubon’s insistence on life-size illustrations—from the flamingo down to the hummingbird—even if the former had to curve its neck in an elegant arabesque (pictured above right). His adherence to scale and lifelike depictions was grounded in his profound connection with the natural world which was inseparable from his work.

The set was acquired by William Henry Cavendish Cavendish-Scott-Bentinck, the fourth Duke of Portland (1768-1854), at some point after 1838, and has been maintained in excellent condition, with fresh, vibrant colors. Bibliographers calculate that the entire first edition numbered just 200 completed copies produced over an eleven-year period, of which 161 copies were created for paid subscribers.  At present, only 120 complete sets are known to exist in the world, 107 in institutions and 13 in private hands.

Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. purchased this volume at Christie’s New York in 2012. He has spent a lifetime preserving nature founding the Knobloch Family Foundation to continue that mission. When building his collection, Carl turned for advice to Gudmund Vigtel who for many years was the distinguished Director of the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. It is fitting that this remarkable book is now being sold to benefit conservation of the natural environment - a precious resource so dear to both Audubon and Carl.

A Masterpiece of Ornithological Art 

John James Audubon was born on April 26, 1785 on a sugar plantation in Haiti, as the illegitimate son of Jean Audubon, a French sea captain and agent for a Nantes mercantile firm, and his mistress Jeanne Rabine, a twenty-seven-year-old chambermaid who died within months of giving birth. John James and his half-sister spent their early years with their father in France. It was here, during long countryside rambles that the young Audubon collected bird specimens to be stuffed and drawn, and began his lifelong fascination with birds. Before the age of 12, Audubon escaped a slave revolt in Haiti, and survived France Reign of Terror, spending months in a dungeon with his family. At age 18 his father sent him to America to avoid conscription into Napoleon’s imperial army. John James settled in Philadelphia, where he met Lucy Bakewell, the daughter of a prosperous neighbor. They married in 1808 and moved to Kentucky. 

The largely unspoiled wilderness of Kentucky provided Audubon with access to a broader range of birds to hunt and draw. Without any artistic training to speak of, Audubon developed a new method of mounting dead birds on wires as an aid to delineation. In 1810, Audubon briefly met Alexander Wilson, the distinguished ornithologist, who had published the first two volumes of the artist-author’s pioneering work American Ornithology. Although the idea of publication first entered his mind on this occasion, it was not until 1820, that Audubon came into his full powers as a brilliant painter of birds and master of design. 

In the spring of 1824, Audubon tried to find a publisher for his work in New York, and Philadelphia, the nation's intellectual and publishing epicenter at the time, yet there he was met with closed doors and animosity. In May 1826 he landed in England, where he quickly found the support and appreciation that was so lacking back home. It was in London where Audubon established a reputation and secured his entry into the scientific community among its leading scholars of the time including von Humboldt, Walter Scott, John Murray, Thomas Lawrence, Humphry Davy, and a young Charles Darwin. Before the American Civil War, Audubon was one of only two Americans ever elected to the Royal Society of London, the leading scientific institution of its time - the other was Benjamin Franklin. To create the greatest illustrated book on birds, Audubon worked with William Home Lizars, known at the time as “the best engraver in the city," Robert Havell of London, a senior member of the well-known family of artists, and his son Robert Jr., an accomplished engraver in his own right who at the time worked for Colnaghi. 

In 1830, no longer a provincial curiosity, Audubon was received at the White House by President Andrew Jackson, and the House of Representatives subscribed to The Birds of America. That Audubon could complete his monumental project by subscription, with no institutional backing or noble benefactor, was a staggering achievement. To this day, The Birds of America is considered the most spectacular color folio print series ever produced and one of the world's preeminent natural history documents. 

The Portland Family 

The Portland family descended from Hans Willem Bentinck (1649-1709), one of William of Orange’s closest allies during and after his ascent to the English throne in 1688. In recognition of his friendship and support, Bentinck was created the 1st Earl of Portland; his eldest son Henry succeeded him as Earl and was created 1st Duke of Portland in 1716. Bentinck’s grandson married Lady Margaret Cavendish Holles Harley, the greatest heiress of her day, in 1734, herself a collector of natural curiosities and an eminent scientist. Their son, William Bentinck, the 3rd Duke, was twice Prime Minister in 1783 and 1807-09. William John Cavendish-Scott-Bentick, 5th Duke of Portland (1800-1879), was a notable eccentric who preferred his own company and excavated an extensive network of tunnels and rooms under the estate, including an underground library and ballroom. William John Cavendish-Bentick, 6th Duke of Portland (1857-1943), inherited the estate from his cousin in 1879. The 6th Duke was rather more sociable than his reclusive predecessor: he carried the imperial state crown during the coronation ceremony of King George VI. Earlier, in 1913, he hosted Archduke Franz Ferdinand during his visit to England, and took him shooting on the estate. During that visit, Portland records in his memoirs that “Franz could have been killed (a year before Sarajevo) when someone in the party dropped a gun and both barrels discharged.” 


  • Los Angeles | April 26-28 | Christie’s Los Angeles Gallery | 336 North Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 
  • London | May 19-24 | Christie’s London | 8 King Street, London WC2E 8HN, UK 

PUBLIC EXHIBITION | 20 Rockefeller Center | New York 

    • June 9, 11-13, 10am - 5pm 
    • June 10, 10am - 2pm 

BOOKS & MANUSCRIPTS AUCTIONS | 20 Rockefeller Center | New York 

  • June 14, 2pm | The Portland Audubon 
  • June 14, immediately following | Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts 

Image: AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851). The Birds of America; from Original Drawings. London: Published by the Author, 1827-1838. The exceptional Duke of Portland set of Audubon's masterpiece - among the finest copies in private hands of the finest color-plate book ever produced.  Featured above: The Winter Hawk (plate 71). Estimate: $8,000,000-12,000,000

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress today announced the appointment of Stephen Houston, an anthropologist, archaeologist and epigrapher, as the inaugural Jay I. Kislak chair for the study of the history and cultures of the early Americas. He will begin his tenure in September 2018. While at the Library, Houston will work on a project titled “Classic Choreography: The Meaning of Ancient Maya Movement.”

By encouraging broad interdisciplinary inquiry, the Kislak chair will help nourish a wide conversation ranging from the technical aspects of archaeological discovery to issues of interest in the current cultural conversation in view of generating broad public engagement with themes related to the early history of the Americas. 

The Kislak chair is funded by the Kislak Family Foundation to support annually a distinguished individual to undertake research using the Kislak Collections and related materials at the Library of Congress. 

Houston, the Dupee Family professor of social science and a professor in the Department of Anthropology at Brown University, has worked on the excavations of several major Mayan cities, most recently the ancient city of El Zotz in Guatemala and on collaborative advances in mapping with lidar technology. 

His interpretations of stylized representations of the human body reveal the concepts that underlie ancient Maya existence and his research on writing around the world reconstructs how early scripts begin, flourish and die. 

A major participant in the decipherment of Maya script, Houston draws on inscriptions and figural art to reconstruct the political and social structure of Mayan civilization, including the dynamics of royal court life and the role of religion. 

The Kislak Collection encompasses more than 3,000 rare books, maps, manuscripts, historic documents, artifacts and works of art related to early American history and the cultures of Florida, the Caribbean and Mesoamerica. It is considered among the finest collections of its kind in the world, one that brings together material that is of equal interest to scholars and the general public.

The John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress exists to help address the challenges facing democracies in the 21st century by bridging the gap between scholarship and policymakers. It does this by hosting top thinkers from around the world to conduct research in the Library’s vast collections and engage with national leaders. For more information about the Kluge Center, visit loc.gov/kluge/.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

BF HA copy.jpgDallas, TX - A painting by one of the most popular American artists of all time, and formerly owned by a famous Hollywood actress is expected to be the top lot at Heritage Auctions’ American Art Auction May 4 in Dallas, Texas.

Once in the private collection of late actress Debbie Reynolds, Norman Rockwell Ben Franklin's Sesquicentennial, The Saturday Evening Post cover, May 29, 1926 (est. $800,000-1,200,000) was commissioned in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and is Rockwell’s only cover illustration featuring a Founding Father.

“Norman Rockwell is one of the most beloved American artists who ever lived,” said Aviva Lehmann, Director of American Art. “Collectors of American art are drawn in great number to his works, as they immediately increase the strength and impact of any collection. The offerings in this auction span decades and many aspects of Rockwell’s career, allowing collectors at all levels to get involved.”

Another Rockwell expected to spark significant interest is Norman Rockwell The Census Taker, The Saturday Evening Post cover study, 1940 (est. $250,000-350,000). While amusing, The Census Taker also documented a serious and important event in American History, the 1940 U.S. Census, which occurred April 1, only weeks before the April 27 debut of this Post cover. 

Norman Rockwell Stealing Socks, Interwoven Stocking advertisement, 1928 (est. $200,000-300,000) serves as a primary example of Rockwell's skillful ability to present an enduring and heartwarming image that continues to resonate with the public even decades after its creation. Stealing Socks served as an advertisement for Interwoven Stocking that first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post on Feb. 11, 1928.

Rockwell’s Before the Shot, The Saturday Evening Post cover study, 1958 (est. $150,000-250,000) is a preparatory study for an illustration that graced the March 15, 1958 cover of The Saturday Evening Post. The scene takes place in the interior of Stockbridge (Massachusetts) physician Dr. Donald Campbell's office. Dr. Campbell was the model for the doctor, but while the little boy (Terry Locke) posed, Rockwell's favored model Louis Lamone served as the doctor's stand-in. One of the artist's most iconic and most popular images, the present study was exhibited alongside the final painting at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge.

Rockwell rarely expressed his own political opinions, but Norman Rockwell The Day I Painted Ike (All through that grind of turning on different moods, he never lost patience. At the end-by golly, it was time to go fishing.), The Saturday Evening Post interior illustration, 1952 (est. $120,000-180,000) depicts the 34th president of the United States, of whom Rockwell was an unabashed fan; he even referred to himself as an “Eisenhower worshipper.” So intense was Rockwell’s admiration for Eisenhower that Ben Hibbs, then editor of the Saturday Evening Post, wrote to Rockwell saying, "If Ike is elected, as I think he will be, no small share of the credit should go to Norman Rockwell."

Golden Age Illustration is extremely well represented in the auction, including six works by Joseph Christian Leyendecker. Living Mannequin, The Saturday Evening Post cover, March 5, 1932 (est. $120,000-180,000), comes from the Estate of Harry Glass, of Long Island, New York. The painting originally sold at the 1943 U.S. War Bond at the United States Treasury-Saturday Evening Post War Bond Show, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The auction also includes two important works by artists of the Hudson River School:

John S. Jameson Grazing Sheep at Headwaters of a Stream, 1862 (est. $40,000-60,000) casts a spotlight on Jameson’s enormous talent, and also raises the question of what he could have accomplished had he not lost his life at the age of 22 after being captured while fighting in the Civil War. The influence of the Hudson River School on the young prodigy is evident in the expansive landscape and exploration into theatrical light and weather effects. Depicting lush green fields with a rocky stream in the foreground, Jameson populates his scenery with cattle, a figure in red that creates a focal point to draw the eye in, and provides the viewer with a glimpse of the mountainous view beyond.

Joseph Rusling Meeker Lake Pontchartrain, Louisiana, 1880 (est. $20,000-30,000) was discovered recently in Concord, Massachusetts and is inscribed by the artist “Lake Pontchartrain, La.” Above his monogram signature. The large scale and specified location suggest it might have been executed as an exhibition entry, perhaps at the New Orleans World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exhibition in 1884.

Other lots expected to generate multiple bids from collectors include:

·         Milton Avery Young Artist, circa 1938 (est. $80,000-120,000)

·         Newell Convers Wyeth He Sat There until the Sun Went Down, The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come interior illustration, 1931 (est. $60,000-80,000)

·         Frederick Cark Frieseke Girl with a Basket of Ribbons, painted by 1915 ($60,000-80,000)

·         Walter Launt Palmer Oaks in Winter (Snow in November), 1906 (est. $50,000-70,000)

·         Theodore Earl Butler Lilly Butler (Artist's Daughter, Step-Granddaughter of Claude Monet), 1896 (est. $30,000-50,000)

·         Theodore Earl Butler Bethesda Fountain, Central Park, New York, 1915 (est. $15,000-25,000)

·         From the personal collection of actor Bruce Willis: Daniel Ralph Celentano Hanging Out The Wash (est. $10,000-15,000)

A Distinguished Southern California Collection includes 53 lots of American Modernism, including:

·         Marguerite Thompson Zorach Mother and Child, 1919 (est. $60,000-80,000)

·         Marguerite Thompson Zorach Dancers and Mother & Child (double-sided work) (est. $15,000-25,000)

·         Peter Hurd Corrienda a California, circa 1960 (est. $12,000-18,000)

·         Henry Schnakenberg Summer in the Park (Central Park, Bethesda Fountain) (est. $12,000-18,000)

Stephen Hawking Signed Book 54977_lg.jpegLos Angeles - A book signed by Stephen Hawking in 1973 will be auctioned by Nate D. Sanders Auctions on April 26, 2018. 

The late physicist signed the book, ''The Archaeology of the Industrial Revolution'' in 1973 shortly before he was unable to write his name due to ALS. The book was signed by several members of the Theoretical Astronomy at Cambridge University to commemorate an employee leaving his job as a computer operator.

Hawking was a researcher at the Institute of Theoretical Astronomy at Cambridge from 1968-1973. It was at the Institute in 1973, he published his first important book, ''The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time.''

Hawking died on March 14, 2018.

Bidding for the book begins at $28,000.

Additional information on the pen can be found at 


Dallas, TX - Nude with Blue Hair - a monumental work combining the talent of artist Roy Lichtenstein and the printmaking expertise of John Hutcheson - sold for $540,400 in Heritage Auctions’ Modern & Contemporary Art - Prints & Multiples Auction April 17 in Dallas. The sale was 97 percent sold by value and achieved $2,406,000, well above the overall presale estimate.

“The Lichtenstein was a printer’s proof from the collection of John Hutcheson, a Master Printer who worked with hundreds of well-known artists such as Frank Stella, David Hockney, and Helen Frankethaler,” Holly Sherratt, Heritage Auctions' Director of Modern & Contemporary Art, San Francisco, said. “The sale price is one of the highest prices ever for the work.”  

The 154 lots on offer featured a group of 11 artworks by Andy Warhol, which claimed four of the auction’s top 10 lots. Grevy's Zebra, from Endangered Species, 1983, brought $75,000 and Liz, 1964, a portrait of Elizabeth Taylor from an edition of approximately 300, sold for $55,000 - more than twice its estimate. Warhol’s Untitled, from Flowers Portfolio, 1970, sold for $52,500 and $1, 1982, signed, numbered and published by the artist, realized $42,500.

Marquee lots included artist David Hockney’s Amaryllis in Vase, from Moving Focus, 1984, which sold for $75,000 and Lichtenstein’s Forms in Space, 1985, the artist’s iconic interpretation of the American flag created especially to benefit the Institute of Contemporary Art, which ended at $53,750.

Cheese Mold Standard with Olive, 1969, by Ed Ruscha, reached $50,000. Two additional prints from Hutcheson’s private collection came from his personal relationships with artists Frank Stella and Joan Mitchell. Stella’s Pumpkin Moonshine, from Polar Coordinates II (variant), 1979, sold for $50,000 and Mitchell’s Sunflowers I (diptych), 1992, realized $42,500.

A ceramic vase titled Vase deux anses hautes, created by Pablo Picasso in 1952 from an edition of 400, sold for $40,000. 

Additional highlights include:

·         Warhol’s Turtle, 1985, published to coincide with the 1985 film Turtle Diary written by Harold Pinter, brought $37,500

·         Figure au visage coupé assise dans un intérieur, 1929, an etching by Henri Matisse, sold for three times its estimate to end at $37,500 

·         Target with Four Faces, 1979, by Jasper Johns, sold for $33,500

·         The Witch, from Warhol’s celebrated Myths series executed in 1981, sold for $32,500


Screen Shot 2018-04-23 at 9.20.12 AM.pngNew York—This June Sotheby’s will present a handwritten working manuscript of “Born to Run,” the Bruce Springsteen smash that became an essential American anthem. The 1975 hit catapulted ‘The Boss’ to mega-stardom and remains a beloved classic, having been ranked as the singer’s greatest song by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2013, used by the artist as the title of his 2016 autobiography, and featured as the finale to the current sell-out show ‘Springsteen on Broadway.’ Written entirely in Springsteen’s hand, this early version charts the beginnings of the breakout hit. It is estimated to fetch $200/300,000 and will be offered in the Books and Manuscripts Online auction with bidding open from 18 - 28 June and public viewing available.

After his first two albums ‘Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J.’ and ‘The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle’received critical acclaim but modest commercial success, the 26-year old Bruce Springsteen found his career hinging on the success of his next single. Aiming for musical perfection and Spector-level grandeur, Springsteen spent six months writing and finalizing “Born to Run”, which clocks in at four and a half minutes long. “Born to Run” was a breakout smash, and became Springsteen’s first worldwide release.

The majority of the lines in this version of the song are apparently unpublished and unrecorded but the present manuscript does include a nearly perfected chorus. Captured here, perhaps for the first time, is the most powerful of any Springsteen lyric:

“This town’ll rip the (out your) bones from your back / it’s a suicide trap (rap) (it’s a trap to catch the young) your dead unless / you get out (we got to) while your young so (come on! / with) take my hand cause tramps / like us baby we were born to run.” 

Thirty eight years later, “Born To Run” remains a beloved classic. In 2013, after nearly four decades of performing the career-defining hit, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked “Born to Run” Springsteen's greatest song, and Springsteen himself as number 1 on their 2013 list of the “50 Greatest Live Acts Right Now”. 

The one-man show ‘Springsteen On Broadway’ was initially planned as a eight week residency at the Walter Kerr Theater in New York. However, after opening in October 2017 exceptional demand meant Springsteen On Broadway has been extended twice, most recently through December 2018. Fittingly, the news was reported by the Guardian with the headline: ‘Bruce Springsteen on Broadway: born to run ... and run.’ 


Shel Silverstein.jpgWestport, CT - A Betamax cassette with Apple Computer’s first (and now-famous) TV commercial that aired during Super Bowl XVIII in 1984, a large photo of Albert Einstein signed, dated and inscribed by the legendary physicist, and an archive of material pertaining to author, musician and creative powerhouse Shel Silverstein will all come up for bid on Tuesday, May 8th.

They’re just a few of the 255 lots of rare and highly collectible autographed documents, photos, manuscripts, books and relics being offered by University Archives, based in Westport, in an online-only auction that will open for live bidding starting at 10:30 am Eastern time. People can register and bid now, at www.UniversityArchives.com or the internet platform Invaluable.com.

As with all University Archives online auctions, this one is packed with important, scarce and collectible signed documents and other items relating to some of the most important names in all of history. These will include JFK and Jackie Kennedy, MLK, Winston Churchill, Fidel Castro, Abraham Lincoln, Greta Garbo, Houdini, Andrew Jackson, Barack Obama and Marilyn Monroe.

The Betamax cassette with both Super Bowl ads from 1984 - the 30-second and 60-second spots - is a dub from a 1983 edit. It’s signed by Brent Thomas, the ads’ art director (the director was Ridley Scott). The ads were a dark, post-apocalyptic coming out for the first Apple computer, but were green-lighted by Apple’s genius-founder, Steve Jobs. They were a bit much, however, for a few Apple board members, who hated them. The cassette has an estimate of $10,000-$15,000.

The outstanding Albert Einstein signed black and white photo (“to Mr. K.H. Browne, A. Einstein 48”) measures 7 ½ inches by 9 inches (with mat). It depicts the Nobel Prize-winning theorist in a classic and pensive pose and is in fine condition (est. $7,000-$8,000). A companion lot - a typed document, signed by Einstein and dated April 19, 1950 - is expected to realize even more (est. $8,000-$10,000). It’s from publisher Didier, requesting permission to use material from a speech Einstein gave on Eleanor Roosevelt’s TV show regarding the hydrogen bomb, for a book project.

The remarkable archive depicting Shel Silverstein’s life and career as a multi-faceted artist (est. $60,000-$70,000) is filled with over 500 pages of manuscripts, typed and printed materials, poems, lyrics, sheet music, business and fan letters to Silverstein, contracts, royalty statements, two books and two record albums (circa 1962-1980). Silverstein was a creative force - writing everything from A Boy Named Sue (for Johnny Cash) to the children’s book The Giving Tree.

Collectors can’t seem to get enough of Kennedy memorabilia. Sometimes Jackie is more sought after than JFK. This sale has several outstanding items from the former First Lady, to include:

  • The wool maternity dress worn by Jackie two months before delivering JFK Jr. and her husband winning the presidency. The dress has “Lord & Taylor Fifth Avenue” and “Ma Mere” tags. The lot includes two photos of her wearing the dress (est. $10,000-$12,000).
  • Jackie’s owned and worn exquisite large gold, emerald and pearl pin, which she later gifted to her personal secretary, Mary Gallagher, as a Christmas present in 1960. The lot includes Jackie’s handwritten holiday well-wish to Ms. Gallagher (est. $6,000-$8,000).
  • Jackie’s two-page handwritten letter to her mother from 1951, when she and sister Lee were toddling around Europe (the trip was Lee’s high school graduation present; Jackie was the chaperone). Included is a copy of their book about the trip (est. $3,000-$3,500).

Don’t fret, JFK collectors, there’s something for you in the auction, like his personally owned large beige-colored canvas duffel bag, later used by Jackie and daughter Caroline. The martyred president’s initials are monogrammed on the bag. Another tag reads “Mrs. A. Onassis” (est. $9,000-$11,000). Also, a chess set purchased for Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, by his mother when Oswald was still a teen living in New Orleans, should gavel for $20,000-$24,000. 

An undated handwritten six-page letter penned by Martin Luther King, Jr., around February 1959 in India, where he was researching Ghandi’s methods of nonviolent resistance, is expected to bring $25,000-$30,000. The letter is written on Residency Guest House letterhead in Bangalore. Also, a Barack Obama handwritten letter, one of his first as president, in which he thanks his relatives in Kenya after they attended his 2009 inauguration, should hammer for $8,000-$10,000.

A rare Peter Force copperplate engraving on thin rice paper of the Declaration of Independence from 1848, 26 inches by 29 inches, with remarkably exact renditions of the signers’ hands, one of perhaps 500 produced, should hit $16,000-$20,000. Also, a single page manuscript document signed by Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella while Columbus was “sailing the ocean blue” (and, dated Sept. 15, 1492, a month before he landed), should sell for $15,000-$20,000. 

Letters, manuscripts and documents signed by former U.S. Presidents are always in high demand. University Archives specializes in the category, as the following lots will attest:

  • A one-page autographed letter signed by Abraham Lincoln (as “A. Lincoln”), dated Nov. 1, 1859, shortly before his Cooper-Union speech and written to H. H. Fell, a prominent Illinois attorney. The letter, in overall fine condition, has an estimate of $8,000-$10,000.
  • A letter written and signed by Andrew Jackson (three pages on two conjoined sheets), dated Feb. 3, 1823, to Richard K. Call, Esq., Jackson’s Aide during the Battle of New Orleans in Jan. 1815 and now a Pensacola lawyer, in good condition (est. $7,000-$8,000).
  • A two-page letter written in Feb. 1850 by Millard Fillmore (as Vice President) to Zachary Taylor (as President), regarding Taylor’s Mexican War service, as detailed in a letter to James Buchanan and referencing James K. Polk, signed by Fillmore (est. $6,000-$7,000).

A two-page movie studio contract boldly signed in Jan. 1950 by Marilyn Monroe, for her early role as the character “Polly” in the film The Fireball, co-starring Mickey Rooney and Pat O’Brien, carries an estimate of $5,000-$7,000. The document had the movie’s working title as Dark Challenge. Also, a letter written by Greta Garbo in 1960 to Hollywood hairstylist Sidney Guilaroff, in which she invites him to visit her in Switzerland, should rise to $1,000-$1,200.

A Winston Churchill archive - inclusive of his personally annotated proof for his monumental biography, Marlborough: His Life and Times (published in four parts, 1933-1938), plus a typed signed letter to C.C. Wood, chief copy editor at George G. Harrap & Co., Ltd., has an estimate of $5,000-$6,000. Also, a four-page letter penned entirely in Fidel Castro’s hand on Sept. 14, 1958, just months before his “Movement” and overthrow of Batista, should command $4,000-$5,000.

A two-page document from Aug. 1918, signed three times by Harry Houdini, a contract between Houdini and a publishing company regarding a book written by one of Houdini’s idols, Angelo Lewis (aka Professor Hoffman), titled Latest Magic, Being Original Conjuring Tricks, should fetch $5,000-$6,000. Also, an archive of autograph drafts of letters and notes that reveal the business and personal side of controversial comedian Lenny Bruce, should make $4,000-$5,000.

University Archives was founded in 1979, as a division of University Stamp Company, by John Reznikoff, who started collecting stamps and coins in 1968, while in the third grade. Industry-wide, Reznikoff is considered the leading authenticity expert for manuscripts and documents. He consults with law enforcement, dealers, auction houses and both major authentication companies. 

For more information about University Archives and the Tuesday, May 8th online auction, please visit www.universityarchives.com.

Image: Remarkable archive depicting Shel Silverstein’s life and career as a multi-faceted artist, filled with over 500 pages of manuscripts, poems, lyrics, sheet music, more (est. $60,000-$70,000).  

118-Rembrandt.jpgNew York — Swann Galleries’ offering of Old Master Through Modern Prints on Tuesday, May 8 forms a comprehensive survey of Western art history and the development of the modern style. More than 500 rare and superlative multiples are expected to garner nearly $4M.  

Leading the auction is a drypoint executed by Pablo Picasso at just 24 years old. Tête de femme, de profil, 1905, dates to the artist’s Rose (or Circus) Period. Works from this era are mostly candid representations of the lives and private moments of acrobats and gypsies near his home in Montmartre. Early proof impressions such as the current work, typically signed by the artist, are exceedingly scarce; the print is valued at $80,000 to $120,000. Picasso is represented in the sale with expressive works across a variety of printmaking techniques, as well as ceramics.

A gift from Henri Matisse to a favorite model, Nadia Sednaoui, will also be available. The evocative Grand Masque, 1948, is a stylized portrait of the young woman, who had been introduced to the artist by his son-in-law who saw her in the street. Signed and inscribed, the scarce aquatint is expected to sell between $50,000 and $80,000.

The offering is distinguished by a rich selection of works from the eighteenth- and nineteenth centuries by artists popular with wealthy Europeans on their Grand Tours. The complete Le Antichitá Romane, 1756-84, by Giovanni B. Piranesi required eight years of study and established his reputation as an authority of Roman archaeology and architecture. Spanning four volumes and 220 engravings, the set documents, in exacting detail, ancient Roman art and architecture ($40,000 to $60,000). Stunning vistas of Venice, real and imagined, by Antonio da Canal, better known as Il Canaletto, were another favorite of the Grand Tourers. The Portico with the Lantern, circa 1740, blends vernacular architecture with classical motifs, as does the unusual combined sheet House with the Inscription and the House with the Peristyle (Imaginary View of Venice), circa 1740 ($6,000 to $9,000 and $4,000 to $6,000, respectively).

Nearly a century later, Francisco de Goya focused on lithographs depicting the pastimes of his native Spain. Dibersion de España, 1825, a tense scene from the scarce portfolio The Bulls of Bordeaux, was completed when Goya was 85 years old; it is estimated at $60,000 to $90,000. Equally dramatic is Eugène Delacroix’s 1829-30 portrait of a Tigre Royal about to pounce ($30,000 to $40,000).

St. Eustace, circa 1501, is an important early engraving by Albrecht Dürer of the saint in a menagerie. The work offered was previously in the collection of Pierre Mariette family of influential collectors, dated “1666” in the margin—the year it was acquired by the family. The early printing, before damage to the saint’s arm, carries an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. Additional works by the master include The Virgin and Child with Distaff and an Angel, circa 1615, and St. George on Foot, circa 1502 ($25,000 to $35,000 and $12,000 to $18,000, respectively).

Four of Rembrandt van Rijn’s eight obtainable early self-portraits make for an unparalleled overview of the master’s career. His circa 1630 ventures into printmaking display a markedly different style than that exhibited just ten years later. The rarest of the four, Self Portrait in a Cap, Laughing, carries an estimate of $30,000 to $50,000. Similarly intimate is Self Portrait Open Mouthed, as if Shouting: Bust, with an estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. The dignified and staid Self Portrait with Curly Hair and White Collar: Bust and Self Portrait in a Fur Cap: Bust are each valued between $20,000 and $30,000.

The complete catalogue with bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com.

Image: Lot 118: Rembrandt van Rijn, Self Portrait in a Cap, Laughing, etching, 1630. Estimate $30,000 to $50,000.

Boston, MA—An archive of signed drawings, diagrams, charts, and letters by Dr. Wernher von Braun sold for $98,644 according to Boston-based RR Auction.

The archive concerning his pioneering ‘Man Will Conquer Space Soon’ series is comprised of a total of 26 items that include; 17 drawings and schematics, two orbital diagrams, four calculations and graph plots, and three autographed letters. All relate to four of the Collier’s articles: ‘Crossing the Last Frontier,’ ‘Man on the Moon: The Journey,’ ‘Man on the Moon: The Exploration,’ and ‘Baby Space Station,’ which appeared in in the magazine between 1952 and 1954. Also includes the four issues of Collier’s magazine associated with the items in the archive. 

Von Braun prepared the original drawings in this archive as reference materials for magazine artists Chesley Bonestell, Fred Freeman, and Rolf Klep, and most are evident as the direct inspiration for the illustrations that grace the pages of Collier’s in the ‘Man Will Conquer Space Soon!’ series.  Von Braun’s skillful drawings are filled with engineering detail to provide the magazine illustrators with scientifically accurate renderings of the spaceships of the future.

In its introduction to the series, Collier’s makes clear: ‘What you will read here is not science fiction.’ Von Braun’s vision was not only fantastic, but scientifically viable—his copious scientific notes and calculations are proof. 

The Collier’s series drew widespread attention to von Braun’s vision of manned spaceflight—after the success of the first issue, he appeared on TV and radio shows around the nation to discuss the subject. He was soon recruited by Walt Disney, and served as a technical advisor for three TV films about space exploration between 1955 and 1957. These broadcasts brought the idea of the space program into American living rooms nationwide. 

“It’s an amazing archive that capture’s Von Braun’s vision that was not only fantastic but scientifically viable—his detailed scientific notes and calculations are proof,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction. "I’m not surprised that the archive was able to achieve such an impressive figure with so much renewed interest in the American space program. 

Highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

Buzz Aldrin's Apollo 11 Lunar Surface-Flown Double Star Chart sold for $50,618. 

Dave Scott's Apollo 15 Lunar Surface-Flown Combined Lunar Roving Vehicle 'Photo' and 'Contour' Maps sold for $49,889. 

Collection of 109 Shuttle Robbins medallions sold for $49,000. 

Gene Cernan's Apollo 17 Lunar Surface-Used Rover Map sold for $45,353. 

Apollo 1 fully signed crew photograph sold for $34,549. 

Dave Scott’s Lunar Surface-Used Lunar Module Malfunction Procedures Manual sold for $30,202.  

The Space and Aviation Auction from RR Auction began on April 12 and concluded on April 19. For information, visit the RR Auction web site at www.rrauction.com.

995110.jpgPhiladelphia, PA - A true renaissance man, Jeffrey M. Kaplan’s life and experiences have led him to pursue many areas of collecting, rather than limiting himself to a specific genre or medium. As a result, he has assembled an extensive and eclectic collection that spans centuries and continents, including European prints, Chinese ceramics, 20th century design, and American modernist works on paper. In April of 2017, Freeman’s offered close to 500 items from his collection in a single-owner sale appropriately titled “1,000 Years of Collecting.” The auction was held in two sessions, and sold 99% by dollar and 96% by lot, totaling over $1.2 million in sales.

On May 8, as part of our spring Modern & Contemporary Art auction, Freeman’s will present an additional selection of artwork from a collecting category Mr. Kaplan amassed with great passion: British photography, of the 1950s and 1960s.The artists featured here are some of Britain’s most well-recognized photographers and their work has come to define the visual culture of the 20th century, both in the United Kingdom and beyond. Their photographs, which have graced the pages of iconic publications such as The Sunday Times, British Vogue, Queen, and Harper’s Bazaar, showcase their quintessential interpretation of fashion, celebrity, and landscape through the British lens.

Terence O’Neill was born in London in 1938. He quickly found his niche in the world of fashion and celebrity that so dominated the English capital in the 1960s. O’Neill photographed many famous subjects, most of whom he knew personally, such as pop legends like The Beatles, Elton John and The Rolling Stones, as well as film icons Audrey Hepburn and Brigitte Bardot. O’Neill is best known for the spontaneous, casual and candid nature of his photography, which he achieved with a 35mm camera that required less distance and a higher degree of intimacy between him and his subjects. O’Neill is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and his work is included in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery. (Lots 86, 88, 89, 97, 99, 101, 102, 110, 111)

Born in the Hampstead neighborhood of London in 1904, Sir Cecil Walter Hardy Beaton was a renowned photographer, as well as an award-winning theater, costume and interior designer. Beaton began working as a photographer for British Vogue in 1927, and was later appointed by Queen Elizabeth II to the Ministry of Information, where he served as a war photographer during WWII. He frequently photographed the Queen and other members of the Royal Family, and it is his portraits of celebrities and the aristocracy for which he is best known.  Beaton received Knighthood in 1972. (Lots 83-85, 87, 90)

Terence Donovan was born in the East End of London in 1936, and first experimented with photography at the age of 11 when he enrolled in the London School of Photo-Engraving. Along with photographer Brian Duffy (Lot 124), Donovan was instrumental in documenting the cultural and fashion movement which occurred in London in the 1960s, known as ‘Swinging London.’ His close associations with prominent actors, musicians, and royalty elevated Donovan to a celebrity status of his own. Donovan was known for the irreverent and sensual quality of his photographs, which were regularly featured in publications such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Often choosing to capture his models in offbeat locations, such as the war-ravaged streets of London, or in industrial settings, against steelworks and iron bridges, his gritty black-and-white style sometimes resembled reportage more than fashion photography. This new visual language was unlike anything that came before and eventually earned him the highest distinction of Fellow in the Royal Photographic Society.  (Lots 91-93, 96, 98)

Brian Duffy was born in London in 1933 into an Irish family. Despite a childhood marred by the upheaval and uncertainty of WWII, coupled with a resistance to formal schooling, Duffy entered Saint Martin’s School of Art in 1950 to study painting. Upon graduating, he worked briefly as an assistant to a fashion designer before transitioning to photography, and later as a studio assistant to other established artists. Duffy was hired by British Vogue in 1957, and, along with photographer Terry Donovan, photographed the fashions and celebrities of the ‘Swinging Sixties’ in London. (Lot 95)

Anthony Armstrong-Jones was born in 1930 into the aristocracy, the son of a barrister and the Countess of Rosse. An established fashion photographer and portraitist, he served as the art adviser for The Sunday Times Magazine, and his work was regularly featured in Vogue and the Daily Telegraph. In 1957, he photographed the official portraits for both Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh for their Canadian tour. It was through his marriage just three years later to the Queen’s sister, Princess Margaret, that he was granted the title Earl of Snowdon, which he would use professionally for the rest of his career, despite the couple’s divorce in 1978. (Lots 106-109, 112)

Patrick Anson, known professionally by the name of his inherited earldom, Lichfield, was born in 1939. After serving in the British Army for three years beginning in 1959, Lichfield started his career as a photographer’s assistant before establishing his own reputation independently. He championed digital photography, adopting the medium quickly and pioneering its eventual acceptance as the professional standard. Known for his portraits of high society,  Lichfield’s aristocratic upbringing—his mother was Princess Anne of Denmark—afforded  him access to the British Royal Family. He was the official photographer at the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer in 1981. (Lots 94, 100, 103)

Born in London in 1912, Edwin Smith was a prominent photographer and artist. Beginning in 1935, he was a freelance photographer for Vogue, yet his interests ultimately lay outside the glamorous realm of fashion and celebrity. The son of a stonemason and an architect by training, he was more fascinated by the English landscape and craftsmanship of its architecture. Lured out of the capital city into the countryside, Smith toured the nation photographing small mining communities, cathedrals and abbeys, farm yards, docks and follies. (Lot 113)

Expedition photographer Herbert Ponting was born in Wiltshire, England, in 1870. He was already an established photographer, having traveled extensively throughout Asia and Europe as a professional photojournalist, when he embarked on a three-year expedition to Antarctica. In 1911, he joined the Terra Nova to Cape Evans, Ross Island, where he took glass-plate photographs and short movies—called cinematopgrahs, at the time—of the barren, hostile tundra. Ponting’s work captures the southernmost tip of the globe during what is considered to be the “Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration.” (Lot 114)

Image: Herbert George Ponting (British, 1871-1935), “Grotto in Berg, Terra Nova in the Distance”, $2,000-3,000

Nantucket, MA—Now in its seventh year, the Nantucket Book Festival has established itself as a major summer destination for booklovers with impressive and eclectic line-ups of award-winning authors.  The three-day Festival, June 15-17, will offer author readings, panel discussions and social events in an informal atmosphere that encourages conversations between writers and readers.  Most of the Festival events are free and held within walking distance of the ferries.

Some highlights of this year’s Festival include presentations by acclaimed mystery writer Louise Penny, who will be appear at a solo event as well as a ticketed luncheon at the Nantucket Hotel with fellow author and friend Linda Fairstein; National Book Award winner Andrew Solomon, whose most recent book Far and Away: How Travel Can Change the World was named a New York Times Best Book of the Year; Min Jin Lee, whose books Free Food for Millionaires and Pachinko are national bestsellers; and Joe Hagan, whose eagerly anticipated book Sticky Fingers: The Life and Times of Jann Wenner and Rolling Stone Magazine is an insider's trip through the back stages of storied concert venues, rock-star hotel rooms, and the political ups and downs of the latter half of the Twentieth Century. Nathaniel Philbrick, the island’s favorite literary son, will be discussing his reissued memoir Second Wind: A Sunfish Sailor, An Island, and the Voyage that Brought a Family Together. Crowd favorites Alice Hoffman, Elin Hilderbrand, and Diane Ackerman will be returning to the Festival as well.

New this year, the Festival is adding two events on Thursday, June 14: “A Nantucket Wedding” at Le Languedoc Restaurant featuring Nancy Thayer, and “Authors in Bars,” everyone’s chance to rub elbows with their favorite authors over drinks, at the Nantucket Hotel.

Other authors who will be participating represent a variety of genres and subjects including mystery, science, memoir, history, poetry, biography, economics, cooking, and conservation.  A complete listing of authors to date is at www.nantucketbookfestival.org.

To highlight the active literary community on the island, the Festival will host an outdoor tent in the Nantucket Atheneum garden of local authors selling and signing their books during the weekend.  There will be storytimes for children, and poetry on demand from The Typewriter Rodeo, the group of Austin-based poets who will write free poems on any subject for patrons (and who will be presenting about their new book.)

Other events include the Friday evening Author’s Dinner at the White Elephant Resort which is a fundraiser for the Festival (tickets will be available in late April), and the annual Cisco Brewers Send Off event on Sunday afternoon replete with authors, food and entertainment.

About the Nantucket Book Festival: The Nantucket Book Festival operates under the Nantucket Book Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded to celebrate and promote the joys and rewards of reading, writing, and literacy. The organization seeks to present an annual quality program that honors national, regional, and local authors and the rich culture of the written word, ideas, and the imagination.

The Nantucket Book Foundation, working together with our island educators, produces a program in the schools which includes the PEN/Faulkner Writers in Schools program, the Nantucket Book Festival Young Writers Award, and the Visiting Authors program. These programs encourage our students to find a platform of words and a love of reading to understand that while they may live on an island, there is no limit to their imaginations.

For more information visit www.nantucketbookfestival.org

Action C copy.jpgDallas, TX - The book considered by many to be the “Holy Grail” of comics collecting is expected to compete for top-lot honors at Auctions’ Comics & Comic Art Auction May 10-12 in Chicago in what could be the most lucrative comics auction ever held.

“This auction has a chance to be among the largest comics auctions of all time, if not the largest,” Heritage Auctions Comics Director of Operations Barry Sandoval said. “It will be in a vibrant city that is easy to reach from just about anywhere, and we have an extremely strong collection of valuable comic books that will draw the attention and interest of comics collectors from just about everywhere.”

Action Comics #1 (DC, 1938) CGC VG 4.0 Cream to off-white pages (est. $650,000+) is among the most coveted comic books in the hobby. The issue generates major interest regardless of its condition, and this is one of the highest-graded copies ever offered by Heritage Auctions. Ernst Gerber's The Photo-Journal Guide to Comic Books rated it "scarce,” and CGC's census lists just 40 unrestored copies. The first appearance of Superman launched the Golden Age of Comics, and every superhero that followed is in debt to the character created by writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster (artist). The issue also sits atop Overstreet's “Top 100 Golden Age Comics” list.

Another highlight will be Frank Frazetta Death Dealer 6 Painting Original Art (1990) (est. $600,000+). Serious collectors covet Frazetta paintings, 12 of which have realized six-figure returns in previous Heritage auctions. One - At The Earth’s Core - sold for a record $1,075,500. Five of the top 20 prices paid in HA’s Comics & Comic Art history have been for Frazetta paintings. The axe-wielding Death Dealer might be Frazetta’s most well-known character, and this image was used as the cover of Death Dealer #6, which was published in 2008 by Image Comics.

Whiz Comics #2 (#1) (Fawcett Publications, 1940) CGC FN 6.0 Off-white to white pages (est. $250,000+) is the finest copy Heritage Auctions has offered of the key comic that provided the origin and first appearance of Captain Marvel. CGC has certified just 22 “Universal” label copies of this issue. In the early days of comics collecting, this issue and Action Comics #1 were considered to have similar value. This issue, with cover and story art by C.C. Beck, is ranked No. 13 on Overstreet’s list of “Top 100 Golden Age Comics.” Many consider it likely that it will enjoy a boost in value from the upcoming Shazam! movie that is scheduled to be released in early 2019.

John Romita Sr. Amazing Spider-Man #61 Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1968) (est. $200,000+) is a prized issue among serious collectors, in part because offers the first cover appearance of Peter Parker’s girlfriend, Gwen Stacy, and her father, Captain George Stacy. It features a story by Stan Lee and with artwork by iconic artist John Romita, Sr., whose original artwork for Spider-Man #100 sold in February for $478,000. During Romita’s run, Spider-Man evolved into Marvel’s corporate mascot. This lot is signed by the artist in the lower right margin.

One of the most desirable Silver Age DCs ever offered by Heritage Auctions, Justice League of America #1 (DC, 1960) CGC NM+ 9.6 Off-white pages (est. $200,000+) is the highest-graded copy known. It is a stunning copy in pristine condition rarely found for comic books in their sixth decade of existence. CGC has certified more than 1,100 copies of the issue to date, with less than 3 percent earning a grade even as high as VF 8.0. This classic includes appearances by Batman, Wonder Woman, Superman, Aquaman, Flash, Green Lantern and the Martian Manhunter.

A fresh-to-market copy of Batman #1 (DC, 1940) CGC FN- 5.5 Cream to off-white pages (est. $200,000) is making its debut in this auction. It is an issue with a pedigree of significant auction success: two other copies proved enormously popular this year when a FN/VF 7.0 copy sold for $334,600 and a CGC VG- 3.5 copy went for $143,400 in Heritage’s February 2018 auction. Overstreet ranks this issue, the cover of which was done by Bob Kane and Jerry Robinson, as one of the five most valuable comics in the hobby, thanks in part to the debut appearances of both The Joker and Catwoman.

The auction also includes a strong collection of early issues of Playboy magazine, all but one of which is from the Premier Playboy Collection, the finest collection ever offered through Heritage Auctions. The collection includes every issue in the first two years of the magazine’s publication, with many of the copies in the highest grade in CGC’s census, all with white pages. Some of the top Playboy lots include:

·         Playboy #1 Signed by Hugh Hefner (HMH Publishing, 1953) CGC Qualified VF/NM 9.0 White pages (est. $35,000+)

·         Playboy #2 (HMH Publishing, 1954) CGC NM- 9.2 White pages (est. $5,000+)

·         Playboy #3 (HMH Publishing, 1954) CGC NM+ 9.6 White pages (est. $4,000+)

·         Playboy V2#2 (HMH Publishing, 1955) CGC NM/MT 9.8 White pages (est. $4,000+)

Other top lots include, but are not limited to:

·         Batman #1 (DC, 1940) CGC VG 4.0 Cream to off-white pages (est. $150,000+)

·         Action Comics #7 (DC, 1938) CGC VG/FN 5.0 Off-white to white pages (est. $105,000)

·         Superman #1 (DC, 1939) CGC GD 2.0 Cream to off-white pages: (est. $100,000+)

·         Robert Crumb Yarrowstalks #2 "Head Comix" Complete 1-Page Story Original Art (Yarrowstalks, 1967) (est. $100,000+)

·         Charles Schulz Peanuts Sunday Comic Strip Snoopy as World War I Flying Ace with Woodstock Original Art dated 2-18-96 (United Feature Syndicate, 1996) (est. $100,000+)

568_57_Carey, Henry Charles and Isaac Lea A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas. Philadelphia- Carey & Lea, 1822_WEB.jpgThe highlight of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers' May 1st sale of Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts, to be held in the firm's Chicago saleroom with live bidding available online, is the selection of nearly 400 manuscripts from the private collection of Robert L. McKay. 

The collection will be offered as a session within the sale, lots 172-451, and contains signed letters and manuscripts from notable authors and writers, artists, musicians, politicians, entertainers, and scientists, among many others. Highlights include: a Claude Monet 1902 autograph letter signed to art critic Gustave Geoffroy (presale estimate: 4,000 - 6,000); an autograph musical manuscript titled Themes from an American in Paris presented by George Gershwin to friend and early supporter Hyman Sandow (presale estimate: $6,000 - 8,000); and an autograph letter signed from Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky to Eduardo Frantsevich Nápravnîk (presale estimate: $8,000 - 12,000).

Also included in the collection are numerous letters and manuscripts from historic American figures. An autograph letter signed from George Washington written at Mount Vernon will be offered with a presale estimate of $8,000 - 12,000. Other examples include a one-page autograph letter signed from Benjamin Franklin to his great-nephew Jonathan Williams Jr. in 1773 estimated at $8,000 - 12,000; an autograph letter signed by Thomas Jefferson as President estimated at $6,000 - 8,000; an autograph letter signed from the Marquis de Lafayette to James Monroe estimated at $4,000-6,000; and a Robert E. Lee autograph letter signed estimated at $5,000 - $7,000.

The May sale also includes sessions of livres d’artiste and artists’ books, sporting books, maps and atlases, fine printed books, and printed and manuscript Americana.  

Highlights from these sessions include a first edition of Thomas Williamson and Samuel Howitt’s Oriental Field Sports published in 1807 (presale estimate: $10,000 - 15,000); and a rare copy of Conradus de Halberstadt’s Concordantiae bilbliorum, printed by Mentelin in Strassburg before 1474 (estimate: $10,000 -15,000). Also included are a copy of John James Audubon’s Purple Heron ($10,000 - $15,000); Karl Bodmer’s Herd of Bison (estimate: $1,000-2,000); Isaac and Lea’s A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas, 1822 ($3,000 - 5,000); and a copy of Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe in original rose silk-covered boards ($2,000-3,000).

The Fine Books and Manuscripts preview opens Friday, April 27 in the Chicago saleroom of Leslie Hindman Auctioneers. The catalogue is currently available online. The department is now accepting consignments for its November auction. Visit lesliehindman.com for additional information.

Image: Carey, Henry Charles and Isaac Lea. A Complete Historical, Chronological, and Geographical American Atlas. Presale estimate: $3,000 to 5,000.

Sub-Mariner.jpgCranston, RI - Nearly 350 lots of toys, comic books and comic art will be sold to the highest bidder in an auction planned for Saturday, April 28th, by Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers, in partnership with Altered Reality Entertainment and Travis Landry. The sale will be held online and in the Bruneau & Co. gallery, located at 63 Fourth Avenue in Cranston, at 11 am Eastern.

The auction will open with 87 lots of vintage Star Wars items, featuring a selection from the collection of David Montauck in Brooklyn, N.Y. The group is highlighted by a 1985 Power of The Force AT-AT Driver, graded AFA 85 and packaged with a Warlock coin -  a hard cardback to find, as it only saw limited release in Australia (est. $5,500-$7,500).

“It’s like being a child again back in 1978, going to Almac’s with my mother to pick out my Star Wars figure for the week,” said Kevin Bruneau, the president and auctioneer of Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers. “The 1985 Power of the Force AT-AT Driver is sure to be the strongest with the force, but that’s only one of several gems from the Montauck collection certain to get attention.”

One such gem is the 1977 Star Wars Luke Skywalker theater display, exceedingly rare and with an estimate of $2,500-$3,500. Luke stands a towering 8 feet 3 inches tall, striking an iconic pose from the style C one-sheet. The display is constructed of cut plywood, with a laminated image, and originated in Europe - most likely England or Italy. Montauck found it in a theater trash bin.

Other Star Wars highlights will include a 1978 Star Wars Power Passers Duel at Death Star Race Set, graded CAS 85, and Droids Series Tig Fromm, graded CAS 70+. The Montauk collection will also feature an additional 17 Power of the Force graded figures.

The second portion of the catalog will offer an eclectic mix of vintage American toys, led by a CAS high-grade set of ten 1988 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The set will be sold in single lots and all are early production variants. Also sold will be a 1964 GI Joe Action Pilot Dress Uniform set and a Knickerbocker Humpty Dumpty dart gun set, circa 1950s. 

The GI Joe Action Pilot Dress Uniform set is from the collection of a previous Hasbro employee in Central Falls, R.I. The individually carded set includes the 7804 dress jacket, 7805 dress pants and 7806 dress shirt. Each piece of equipment is factory sealed in its original cellophane, with a GI Joe helmet form sticker. The set should bring $600-$900.

The third portion of the catalog will offer over 220 lots of Golden, Silver, Bronze, and Modern Age comics and original artwork. “It’s like Christmas in spring,” said Travis Landry, a Bruneau & Co. specialist and auctioneer who is also a partner in the sale. “This auction is certain to draw collectors out of the woodwork with a great selection of comics and comic art.”

Landry added, “I’m most excited to see the original artwork for page 16 of Avengers #69, the first appearance of the Grand Master, cross the block. To think that page is the actual physical piece of paper on which Sal Buscema and Sam Grainger worked their artistic and creative magic gives me the chills. It’s a true piece of Marvel and all comic history.”

The page 16 artwork was executed around 1969 and carries a pre-sale estimate of $8,000-$12,000. It introduced the Grand Master character to the Marvel universe, later portrayed in an ironically hysterical way by Jeff Goldblum in the movie Thor: Ragnarok. The page is one of four from a collection out of Rumford, R.I. It is a rare piece of Marvel history.

Another piece of rare and highly collectible cover art is lot 165: Volume 2, Issue 2, pages 20 and 21 of DC Comics Justice League, drawn by the illustrators Jim Lee and Scott Williams and signed by both. The action-packed double splash features Batman, Flash, Green Lantern and Superman, facing an onslaught of parademons (est. $8,000-$12,000).

The Golden Age comics will be led by a copy of Timely Comics Sub-Mariner, issue #24 (Winter, 1947), graded CBCS 8.0 (est. $2,500-$4,000). The comic book features just the third appearance of Namora, and a bondage cover. Only one known copy is graded higher, at 8.5. This example, with white pages and an 8.0 grade, is sure to attract interest.

Other comic books in the auction include the following:

  • Marvel Comics Strange Tales #110 (July 1963), CGC 4.5, the first appearance of Doctor Strange, Ancient One, Nightmare and Wong (est. $1,200-$1,800).
  • Marvel Comics Uncanny X-Men #145 (May 1981), CBCS 9.9, the newsstand edition and featuring a Doctor Doom cover and appearance (est. $1,200-$1,800).
  • DC Comics Superman #46 (May-June 1947), CBCS 9.0, featuring the first appearance of Superboy in a title and a Mr. Mxyzptlk cameo (est. $1,000-$1,500).
  • Marvel Comics Amazing Spider-Man #129 (Feb. 1974), CBCS 7.0, featuring the first appearance of the Punisher and the Jackal, overall VG (est. $700-$1,000).
  • DC Comics Batman #44, CBCS 8.5; Timely Comics Young Allies #9, CBCS 6.5.

Internet bidding will be available through Bidlive.Bruneauandco.com, the Bruneau app, eBay, Invaluable.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, ePaiLIVE (Asia), and Auctionzip.com.

Download the Bruneau app on Google play and iTunes. Phone and absentee (left) bids will also be accepted. Previews will be held on Thursday, April 26th, from 9-5; on Friday, April 27th, from 12 noon until 9 pm; and on Saturday, April 28th, the date of auction, when doors open at 8 am.

Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers has announced a new schedule for 2018. There will be no pre-sale with the estate auctions, as before. They will usually be on the first Saturday of each month and will start at 11 am Eastern. Monday night auctions will be held the third Monday of every month.

To learn more about Bruneau & Co. Auctioneers and the Saturday, April 28th auction, visit www.bruneauandco.com. To contact Bruneau & Co. via e-mail, use info@bruneauandco.com

Image: Copy of Timely Comics Sub-Mariner, issue #24 (Winter, 1947), graded CBCS 8.0, featuring the third appearance of Namora, and a bondage cover (est. $2,500-$4,000).

Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 10.19.13 AM.pngThe V&A have announced that John Vernon Lord has been shortlisted for this year’s Book Illustration category for the V&A Illustration Awards for his Folio Society edition of Ulysses

The winner will be announced at an exclusive awards ceremony at the V&A on 15 May 2018. 

Sheri Gee, Art Director at The Folio Society said: ‘I’m really delighted that John’s work has been recognised by the V&A jury. He put so much time and thought into this commission, only a small percentage of which is shown in the final illustrations - he deserves to be shortlisted.’ 

John provided an illuminating introduction explaining his research and illustrative process which was published as an introduction to the text. His work on this and Finnegans Wake (also published by Folio) will be exhibited at House of Illustration, London, from July this year. 

Previous Folio illustrators honoured at the V&A Illustration Awards include: David McConochie for Best Book Cover and inaugural winner of the Moira Gemmill Illustrator of the Year prize in 2016 for The Folio Book of Ghost Stories; Sterling Hundley, winner of the Book Illustration Award and Overall Winner in 2015 for Treasure Island; Anne-Marie Jones, winner of the Book Cover Award for Sons and Lovers in 2014; Anna and Elena Balbusso, winners of the Book Illustration Award for Eugene Onegin in 2013; Matthew Richardson, winner of the Book Cover Award with The Outsider in 2012; Tom Burns, winner of the Book Illustration Award and Overall Winner in 2009 for The New York Trilogy

‘The Artful Book’, a display celebrating 70 years of The Folio Society can be visited at the V&A until 1 May, 2018. 


April22_02_pics.jpgIthaca, NY—Worth Auctions, located in Dryden, NY, announces the launch of their next auction catalog.    

This catalog features a variety of collectibles, antiques and artwork. Antique newspapers and original vellum indentures dating from the 17th century will be sold among other interesting offerings. Also presented is our next session from a large private collection of antique clocks and selections from a substantial amassing of circus memorabilia.           

The clock collection centers around torsion, anniversary models and cuckoo designs. Examples date back to the 1800's and include important names such as Aaron D. Crane, Hauck, Bowler & Burdick, Anton Harder, Schlenker & Posner, John Wanamaker and others. This session is one of several we will conduct over the coming months as we bring this impressive private collection to market.   

The vintage and antique circus repository includes souvenirs, programs, posters, original photographs, signage, antique postcards, cast metal toys, ephemera and much more. Major names such as Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey figure prominently, alongside an extensive array of lesser-known troupes.       

Further lots in the catalog present a varied array of antiques and collectibles. Particularly interesting are several original vellum indentures drafted in the 1600's and bearing original signatures, seals and other historically interesting elements. Also included are an original painting by Salvatore Grippi, a sizeable stamp collection and antique newspapers dating back to the 17th century, including content on colonial America, revolutionary America, the Lincoln Assassination, slavery-related entries, the sinking of the Titanic and much more.

Complementary material will be offered in future sessions throughout the spring of 2018.  

Worth Auctions is a public auction service specializing in estate work and collections.  The company conducts fully cataloged auctions with global bidding activity over three platforms. The upcoming auctions will feature a wide assortment of items, from pencils to airplanes. For more information, please contact the gallery at 607-330-0358 or email mail@worthauctions.com.


151.jpgChicago — Potter and Potter Auctions is pleased to announce this upcoming sale to be held on Saturday, May 19th, 2018 starting at 10am at the company's gallery, located at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60613.  All lots are on display and available for public preview on Wednesday, May 16th, through Friday, May 18th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in their facility. 

This sale's astonishing selection of gaming and cheating related publications reflects Potter and Potter's well-deserved reputation for global leadership in gambling memorabilia. Of special note are 70+ outstanding lots of books on poker on offer.

The top lot in this sale is #151, Alfred Trumble's Faro Exposed; or The Gambler and his Prey. Being a Complete Explanation of the Famous Game, its Origin and Development, and how its Skins are Worked.  Estimated at $20,000-30,000, this 1882 publication is the rarest of all books dealing with the subject of advantage play. It provides a candid explanation of the origin, nature, rules, and history of Faro, arguably the most popular card game of the Old West. Its text and visually stunning wood-engraved plates detail the methods (both mechanical and sleight-of-hand) by which unsuspecting “suckers” and their money could be parted.

And just how extraordinary is this book? The copy deposited in the Library of Congress was destroyed in the process of converting the text to microfilm, and in the intervening years, only two other examples of the text have been located in institutions, one of which is incomplete. This example is the only copy known to be in private hands.

Lot #162, a collection of seven late 19th century poker magazines, should draw attention from poker enthusiasts worldwide. Estimated at $25,000-35,000, this group includes all six Poker Chips Magazines ever published from June to November, 1896 and the July, 1897 issue of The White Elephant, its successor periodical.  All were published by Frank Tousey, famous for chapbooks and street literature, and featured “stories of the great American game.” This is first complete file of Poker Chips to come to auction, and is one of but a handful extant.

And last but not least, lot #126, F.R. Ritter's Advantage Card Playing and Draw Poker, is the real-deal.  Estimated at $6,000-8,000, this book from 1905 features the first photograph of a Jacob's Ladder-style holdout ever printed, Ritter’s 20 rules for playing poker, as well as dozens of images of cards marked with "blockout" work.

Will & Finck was a well-known San Francisco firm that began manufacturing and selling cutlery in 1864, but grew its offering to include Faro equipment in 1871. The company survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and remained in business through the early 1930's.  Professional gamblers the world over spoke of the firm in almost reverent terms and they treasured their Will & Finck card holdouts and gaffed dealing boxes. 

Will & Finck's cheating devices, game accessories, and company ephemera are of enormous interest to gambling collectors today.  Lot #232, a c. 1880 hand carved, highly detailed and hand colored rosewood case-keeper in suit of clubs with ivory beads, is estimated at $3,000-5,000. This rarity features an unusual maker’s cartouche showing an arm and gold scale.  Lot #249, a c. 1880 Jacob's Ladder style brass sleeve holdout mounted on a porcelain display hand, is estimated at $3,000-5,000. Will & Finck holdouts were reportedly favored by professional sharpers due to their compact construction, size and smooth operation.  Lot #262, a marked, c. 1880 ivory handled brass card trimmer in its original felt lined, wooden packing crate, is estimated at $3,000-4,000. This small sized version is quite rare and was most likely used by a Faro dealer who traveled from town to town.  And lot #207, a Will & Finck gambling catalog from 1894 in its original mailing envelope, is estimated at $2,500-3,500. This lot also includes related company ephemera like receipts, inserts, and letters. This is the only known original Will & Finck gambling supply catalog in private hands. 

Game accessories and devices are key categories in this sale, with about 100 lots of case keepers, dealing boxes, markers, apparatus, and other items on offer. Lot #496, a beautiful, hand painted c. 1890 Diana layout, is estimated at $5,000-7,000. This very rare example is one of only a handful known. The game of Diana had a short lifespan, because of the very long odds against the player. Lot #495, a c. 1890 jumbo gambling wheel, is estimated at $4,000-6,000.  This fantastically decorated wheel is decorated with a dizzying array of reverse glass painted horseheads, American flags, horseshoes, birds, and women’s heads. The wheel was reportedly meant for use used in a casino in Havasu, AZ but the establishment was never opened, so the wheel was later purchased out of storage.  And lot #542, a c. 1890 American string game, is estimated at $4,000-6,000. This unique, previously unknown device is made from 52 playing cards attached to spring loaded wooden blocks; a string is attached to each block. It's not known how prizes were awarded, but Potter & Potter experts surmise that a shelf at the back of the operator’s booth held the prizes each card represented. 

This sale's selection of cards, chips, and dice is a Royal Flush.  These smaller scaled items are enormously collectible, and can be displayed in tight spaces.  Lot #352, a c. 1868 double deck of boxed, beautifully illustrated French Jacquemin Gringonneur playing cards is estimated at $4,000-6,000. Lot #300, a boxed deck of playing cards printed for the 1888 American presidential race between Cleveland and Harrison, is estimated at $2,000-3,000. Lot #386, a c. 1880 American “One Hundred” scrimshawed ivory poker chip is estimated at $1,500-2,500. This jackpot sized rarity does not appear in Seymour's Antique Gambling Chips reference books. Lot #404, a trio of scrimshawed ivory poker chips with a dog on one side and a chicken on verso is estimated at $800-1,200.  And luck be a lady with lot #434, three c. 1890 ivory ball dice, estimated at $1,200-2,000. 

This sale comes full circle with fantastic assortments of collectibles, advertisements, and other coin-op rarities.  Lot #498, a c. 1930 scarce gaffed “Bee Hive” game in its original case is estimated at $2,000-4,000. This item was advertised as a great device to run with jewelry at fairs, picnics, or other places. It was deemed a great machine for 10 cent play that never failed to make big money. And lot #539, an original, working, c. 1894 U.S. Novelty Co. 5 Cent clockwork trade stimulator with a playing card dial is estimated at $3,000-5,000. 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "We conduct a specialty gambling auction every year, and this is - without a doubt - our finest offering to date.  This sale features exceptional items from Bob Rosenberger's lifetime collection. Bob is one of the acknowledged authorities on the subject of gambling history. He had an amazing eye for gambling memorabilia and crossover categories including  poker chips, the old west, cheating, magic, gambling, poker, coin-op, California history, knife making, and vintage playing cards.  Bob's collection is rich in material related to the famed firm of Will & Finck of San Francisco. To offer the only Will & Finck catalog in private hands is a real thrill - nearly as much as the opportunity to sell the only copy of the legendary book Faro Exposed, also the only copy in private hands."

Potter and Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. For more information on this sale and Potter & Potter Auctions, please see www.potterauctions.com. If you can't make the auction in person, bids for these extraordinary offerings can be placed directly on the company's website, by phone by arrangement, or via an absentee bid form, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Image: Lot 151: Faro Exposed; or The Gambler and his Prey. Being a Complete Explanation of the Famous Game, its Origin and Development, and how its Skins are Worked. Estimate $20,000-30,000. Courtesy of Potter & Potter

New York City-The New England Society in the City of New York (NES) is pleased to announce the finalists, or the “shortlist,” for the 2018 New England Society Book Awards, which honors books of merit that celebrate New England and its culture. The NES Book Awards are made in four categories—Fiction, Nonfiction, Art & Photography, and Specialty—and are presented annually to authors of books published in the previous 12 months. The winning authors will be selected from this shortlist and announced at the annual Founders’ Day celebration on May 15. Winners will be honored at an Evening Literary Salon on June 13 at the Down Town Association followed by the Awards Luncheon on June 14 at the Union League Club of New York. 

For more than 100 years, prominent writers such as Mark Twain, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louis Auchincloss, William F. Buckley, Jr., David McCullough, and Dominick Dunne have been honored by NES. The Book Awards carry on these literary connections and recognize books that honor New England culture to help expand the audience for these books. “We were particularly pleased to have a broad range of high-quality submissions this year,” said NES Book Awards Committee Chair, Ellen Scordato. “This made the selection process all the more competitive. The finalists were carefully chosen after considerable deliberation by a very dedicated jury of enthusiastic NES members from a variety of professional backgrounds.” 

“The 2018 finalists represent excellence in New England-themed writing across a range of subjects and celebrate the culture, history, and individualism that are central to the New England character. We are delighted to honor this diverse group of books and their authors and look forward to honoring the winners this June,” said NES President Anna Bulkot. The Literary Evening Salon on June 13 is open to the public, offering all NES members and literary enthusiasts a chance to mingle with winners and jury members who evaluated this year’s submissions, followed by a panel discussion and a book signing. 

Cartoon County: My Father and his Friends in the Golden Age of Make-Believe by Cullen Murphy
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
In the middle of the American Century, many of the nation’s top comic-strip cartoonists, gag cartoonists, and magazine illustrators lived together in the southwestern corner of Connecticut. John Cullen Murphy, the author’s father, was the creator of the wildly popular comic strips Prince Valiant and Big Ben Bolt, and was at the heart of this artistic milieu. Comic strips and gag cartoons such as Superman and Beetle Bailey were created by this tight-knit group of Post War pop-culture artists who became known as the Connecticut School. 

Wonderfully illustrated, Cartoon County brings the postwar American era alive, told through the relationship of a son to his father, an extraordinarily talented and generous man who had been trained by Norman Rockwell. Cartoon County gives us a glimpse into a very special community—and of an America that used to be. 

Cullen Murphy is the editor at large at Vanity Fair and the former managing editor of The Atlantic Monthly. He is the author of The Word According to Eve, Just Curious, and God’s Jury. He lives in Massachusetts with his family. 

East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography by Diane Waggoner; With Russell Lord and Jennifer Raab (Yale University Press in association with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.)
Although pictures of the West have dominated our perception of 19th-century American landscape photography, many photographers were working in the eastern half of the United States during that period. East of the Mississippi is the first book to focus exclusively on the arresting Eastern photographs that helped shape America’s national identity. Celebrating natural wonders and capturing a cultural landscape fundamentally altered by industrialization, these works also documented the impact of war, promoted tourism, and played a role in an emerging environmentalism. 

Showcasing more than 180 photographs from 1839 to 1900 in a rich variety of media and formats this volume traces the evolution of Eastern landscape photography and introduces the artists who explored this subject. Also considered are the dynamic ties with painters and photographers and the distinctive development of landscape photography in America. 

Diane Waggoner is curator of 19th-century photographs at the National Gallery of Art. Russell Lord is the Freeman Family Curator of Photographs at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Jennifer Raab is assistant professor of the history of art at Yale University. 

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline
(William Morrow)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Orphan Train, a stunning and atmospheric novel of friendship, passion, and art, inspired by Andrew Wyeth’s mysterious and iconic painting Christina’s World. 

To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century. 

Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction in a powerful novel that brings into focus the flesh-and- blood woman behind the portrait by vividly imagining the life of a woman with a complicated past and a special bond with one of our greatest modern artists. Told in evocative and lucid prose, A Piece of the World is a story about the burdens and blessings of family history, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy. 

Christina Baker Kline is the author of six novels, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Orphan Train as well as A Piece of the World. She lives outside New York City and spends as much time as possible on the coast of Maine. 

Eden: A Novel by Jeanne McWilliams Blasberg (She Writes Press)
Becca Meister Fitzpatrick, wife, mother, grandmother, and pillar of the community, is the dutiful steward of her family's summer tradition, until she discovers her recently deceased husband squandered their nest egg. As she struggles to accept that this is likely her last season in Long Harbor, Becca summons the courage to reveal a secret: the existence of a daughter she gave up fifty years ago. 

Eden is the account of the days leading up to the Fourth of July weekend, as Becca prepares to disclose her secret and her son and brothers conspire to put the estate on the market, interwoven with the century-old history of Becca's family--her parents' beginnings and ascent into affluence, and her mother's own secret struggles in the grand home her father named "Eden."

Jeanne Blasberg, a voracious observer of human nature, graduated from Smith College and entered Harvard Business School. She later enrolled at Grub Street, a pre-eminent creative writing center, turning her attention to memoir and fiction. Eden is her debut novel. Jeanne and her husband split their time between Boston and Westerly, RI. 

The Outer Cape by Patrick Dacey (Henry Holt & Company)
Robert Kelly and his wife Irene were a golden couple of the late 70s. She an artist, he a businessman, each was possessed by a dynamism that seemed to promise them a place in a new and vibrant age. But Irene struggles to invest meaning into her role as wife and mother. And Robert, haunted by the failure he sees looming, risks the family name and business to pursue a risky real estate scheme. 

Twenty years later, their now-grown sons return to the Cape of their childhood, where Robert and Irene are facing mortality and consequences of Robert’s real estate gamble. In The Outer Cape, Dacey delivers a story of four people grappling with the ghost of infinite possibility, a book in which chasing the American dream and struggling to survive are one and the same. 

Patrick Dacey, MFA from Syracuse University, has taught English at several universities in the U.S. and Mexico, worked as a reporter, a landscaper, door-to-door salesman, and at a homeless shelter and detox center. His stories have appeared in The Paris Review, Zoetrope All-Story Guernica, Bomb magazine, and Salt Hill


Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth- Century New England by Douglas L. Winiarski (Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and the University of North Carolina Press 

This sweeping history of popular religion in eighteenth-century New England examines the experiences of ordinary people living through extraordinary times. Drawing on an unprecedented quantity of letters, diaries, and testimonies, Douglas Winiarski recovers the pervasive and vigorous lay piety of the early eighteenth century. Otherwise sensible people became incited by the religious tours of George Whitefield. They became fascinated by visions, bodily fits, and sudden conversions that they attributed to miraculous gifts of the Holy Spirit. Countless New Englanders broke ranks with family, neighbors, and ministers who dismissed their experiences as foolish. These new converts, the progenitors of today's evangelical movement, bitterly assaulted the Congregational establishment. 

The 1740s and 1750s were the dark night of the New England soul, as men and women groped toward a restructured religious order. Then as now, evangelicalism emboldened ordinary people to question traditional authorities, and their challenge shattered whole communities. 

Douglas L. Winiarski is associate professor of religious studies at the University of Richmond and author of Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in Eighteenth-Century New England. He is a contributor to Native Americans, Christianity, and the Reshaping of the American Religious Landscape, also from UNC Press. 

The Martyr and the Traitor: Nathan Hale, Moses Dunbar, and the American Revolution by Virginia DeJohn Anderson (Oxford University Press) 

Two men from Connecticut slipped onto Long Island in September 1776. The future of the infant American republic, barely two months old, looked bleak. One of the men, Nathan Hale, was making sketches to bring back to the beleaguered American general, George Washington. The second visitor, Moses Dunbar, had come to Long Island to recruit more farmers to join the King's forces. Neither man completed his mission. Instead, each met his death at the end of a hangman's rope, one executed as a spy for the American cause and the other as a traitor to it. 

In this braided narrative, Virginia Anderson explores how men of the American Revolution have been remembered or forgotten in history. Hale, who uttered a line that has become famous ("I only regret, that I have but one life to lose for my country") was later memorialized as a martyr to the Revolutionary cause. 

Virginia DeJohn Anderson, Professor of History at the University of Colorado, Boulder, also authored New England's Generation: The Great Migration Formation of Society and Culture in the Seventeenth Century, Creatures of Empire: How Domestic Animals Transformed Early America, and American Journey: A History of the United States

Moon New England Road Trip by Jen Rose Smith
(Hachette Book Group)
Moon New England Road Trip presents the expert advice of the author, Jen Rose Smith, about the myriad activities, and local insight, so you can plan your trip your way with strategic, flexible itineraries that can be adapted for your schedule. The themes include: "Fall Foliage," "Acadia National Park," "White Mountain Peaks," "Small-Batch Breweries," "Revolutionary Roads," "Seafood Shacks," "Beach Time," and "Ski the East." You will enjoy full-color, vibrant photos and detailed regional and city maps with focused
coverage of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. 

The book features curated information for history buffs, foodies, culture mavens, outdoor adventurers, beach lovers, road trippers as well as honest advice on when to go, where to stay, and how to get around from the author and Vermont local. 

Jen Rose Smith is a freelance writer whose work on travel, food, and drink has appeared in Best of Burlington, Local Banquet of Vermont, Vermont Magazine, Traveler’s Tales: Best Women’s Travel Writing, Culinate, and Overnight Buses. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her husband. 

Talbot Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of an important new title: 

67437-Hoeflich_19thCenturyLegalPoetry_Cover-RBG copy.jpgDespite the demands of a practice undertaken without today’s modern conveniences—and electricity—many 19th century lawyers and judges in America found the time, and had the inclination, to write poetry. A good deal of it was about the law-clients, cases, trials—even law books- and the affairs of the day. Other poems address timeless themes such as nature, faith and illness. Some were meant to be humorous. Edited by Michael H. Hoeflich, an expert on 19th century American legal practice, this collection, which includes poems by President John Quincy Adams and Supreme Court Justices Joseph Story and Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and a few laymen with an interest in law, offers a window into life in 19th century America as reflected in the practice of law, which by its very nature is entwined in so many stages of life. 

MICHAEL H. HOEFLICH is the John H. & John M. Kane Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Kansas School of Law. He holds degrees from Haverford College, Cambridge University and Yale Law School. He taught at the University of Illinois from 1980-1988, was dean of the Syracuse University College of Law from 1988-1994, and was dean at the University of Kansas School of Law from 1994-2000. Hoeflich is the author or editor of 15 books including Sources of the History of the American Law of Lawyering (2007), Legal Publishing in Antebellum America (2010), The Law in Postcards & Ephemera 1890-1962 (2012) and more than 115 articles. He is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a member of the American Antiquarian Society and the Kansas Correspondent of the Selden Society. He was awarded an honorary degree (LL.D.) by Baker University in 2003. 



xvii, 281 pp. Hardcover ISBN 978-1-61619-548-9 $59.95 


New York—Swann Galleries’ auction of Printed & Manuscript Americana on April 12 was the department’s highest-grossing sale in four years, continuing an upward trajectory as each offering of Americana and African Americana becomes more curated. Highlights of the sale included historic bibles and a broad selection of unique and manuscript material.

Religious texts constituted many of the highlights of the sale, including an unusually well-preserved first-edition Book of Mormon, which topped the auction at $77,500, going to a collector. Additional highlights included a first edition of the Aitken Bible, the first complete Bible printed in English in the United States, which brought $47,500 despite missing 6 text leaves, and a rare Pony Express Bible that was purchased by a collector for $20,000.

Swann is known for offering exceptional Mormon material. In addition to the top lot of the sale, highlights included an 1844 extra broadside issued by the Nauvoo Neighbor, containing the first official report of the murder of Mormon leaders Joseph and Hyrum Smith. It was purchased for $37,500 in its first auction appearance since 1966.

Many of the other highlights were unique or making their first appearances at auction in several decades. The first edition, first state of Thomas Paine’s American Crisis brought $50,000 in its first auction appearance since 1955. An ornately framed cypress sprig cut by Lafayette from Washington’s tomb—the only known example of this tender keepsake—brought $13,750. Cecil Stoughton’s 16 albums of John F. Kennedy photographs brought $15,000, and his shot of Kennedy with Marilyn Monroe (the only known photograph of the two together) brought $10,625.

Institutions were active throughout the auction. Historic Deerfield acquired a volume of Iroquois religious tracts by the noted Mohawk missionary Eleazer Williams, while an account book of the noted physician George Huntington was purchased by his alma mater, Columbia University. 

A volume of sixteenth-century records from the silver mine at Taxco, Mexico, brought $30,000, leading a rich selection of Latin Americana. Many items far exceeded their high estimates, most notably manuscript material in the Chinantec and Nahuatl languages. Printed highlights included a 1620 decree by the Mexican Inquisition prohibiting the use of peyote, which sold for $25,000, above a high estimate of $9,000.

The $1M auction continues Swann Galleries’ upward trajectory in the field of Americana. Coming just two weeks after the house’s successful sale of Printed & Manuscript African Americana, “the market shows no signs of slowing down,” said Rick Stattler, Director of Americana at Swann. He added, “This was the strongest Americana auction we’ve had in four years. We saw strong results in every section of the sale, and participation from a remarkable breadth of buyers.”

The next auction of Americana at Swann Galleries will be Revolutionary & Presidential Americana from the Collection of William Wheeler III on June 21, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions.


B-Franklin-of-Philadelphia-Portrait.jpgThe papers of American scientist, statesman and diplomat Benjamin Franklin have been digitized and are now available online for the first time from the Library of Congress. The Library announced the digitization today in remembrance of the anniversary of Franklin’s death on April 17, 1790.

The Franklin papers consist of approximately 8,000 items mostly dating from the 1770s and 1780s. These include the petition that the First Continental Congress sent to Franklin, then a colonial diplomat in London, to deliver to King George III; letterbooks Franklin kept as he negotiated the Treaty of Paris that ended the Revolutionary War; drafts of the treaty; notes documenting his scientific observations, and correspondence with fellow scientists.

The collection is online at: loc.gov/collections/benjamin-franklin-papers/about-this-collection.

“Benjamin Franklin made history and won respect around the world as a diplomat, publisher, scientist and scholar,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “We are thrilled to make this collection of documents by one of the nation’s founding fathers available to highlight his unique role in American history.”

Highlights of the Franklin papers include:

  • Two copies of the petition the First Continental Congress sent to Franklin to present to King George III in 1774 “to lay our grievances before the throne.”
  • Franklin’s scientific speculation on the speed of ships in 1775 while on board a vessel returning from England to America just before the Revolutionary War.
  • Correspondence with John Adams, King George III, Thomas Jefferson, the Marquis de Lafayette and George Washington, among others.
  • Franklin’s Craven Street letterbook, one of the few pre-Revolutionary letterbooks from Franklin to survive, documenting his life as a colonial diplomat in London.
  • Letters exchanged with his wife, Deborah Read Franklin, and his son, loyalist William Franklin, before their estrangement.
  • Franklin’s drawing of bifocal glasses, which he is credited with inventing.
  • Franklin’s letter explaining the effects of lightning on a church steeple.

The Franklin papers have been at the Library of Congress for more than 100 years but had a turbulent history. Many of Franklin’s early papers were scattered and damaged, though he accumulated many more. When he died in 1790, Franklin left his papers to his grandson, William Temple Franklin, who published some of them as the “Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Benjamin Franklin” in 1817-1818. Some of the papers Temple Franklin published were later found cut up in a London tailor shop. The papers were eventually returned to the U.S., purchased by the U.S. government and kept at the U.S. State Department until the early 20th century, when they were transferred to the Library of Congress.

Additional Franklin papers are held by the American Philosophical Society and the University of Pennsylvania, both of which Franklin founded in Philadelphia.

The digitization of the Franklin papers is part of a larger effort to make historical materials available online. Other newly digitized collections include the papers of U.S. Presidents James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and James K. Polk, and the papers of Alexander Hamilton, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

Image: This print shows Benjamin Franklin seated at a desk, looking to his right at an electrical device. In his left hand are papers upon which he is taking notes, and visible through a window to his left is lightning striking a building. (Edward Fisher, engraver, after a painting by Mason Chamberlin, 1763. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

Los Angeles - The Getty Museum announced today the appointment of James A. Ganz to Senior Curator of Photographs. Ganz will oversee the museum’s renowned collection of nearly 150,000 photographs, which represent the history of the medium from its inception to the present day. He joins the Getty after ten years at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, where he served as Curator of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts.

“Mr. Ganz’s experience is a perfect fit with the mission and scholarly focus of the Getty’s Department of Photographs. His many years of curating exhibitions and acquiring significant works will greatly enrich our collection and the work of our curatorial staff,” says Timothy Potts, director of the J. Paul Getty Museum. “He brings an energy, enthusiasm, and leadership that will help the department engage with an even broader audience and tell new and thoughtful stories about the history of photography up to the present day.” 

“I have long admired the Getty’s commitment to photography, from the depth and breadth of its collections to its spacious galleries and ambitious exhibition and publication programs,” says Ganz. “I look forward to working with my new colleagues on developing and interpreting the museum’s photographic holdings for its diverse audiences, and exploring innovative ways to embrace the public’s special fascination with this dynamic art form.”

The Getty Museum’s collection of photographs includes strong holdings of early European and American photography, as well as becoming increasingly international in scope, with significant holdings of work from Asia, Africa, and South America, and 20th and 21st-century photographs. In addition to overseeing this growing collection, Ganz will also help direct the 7,000 square foot Center for Photographs at the Getty Center, and spearhead a dynamic program of acquisitions, exhibitions, and research projects in partnership with a dedicated team of curatorial professionals.

Ganz received his Ph.D. in art history from Yale University, his M.A. from Williams College, and his B.A. from Trinity College. His specializations include 19th-century European and American photography, as well as California-based photographers, including Carleton Watkins, Eadweard Muybridge, Willard Worden, Peter Stackpole, and Arnold Genthe. Prior to his time at the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, Ganz was a curator for over ten years at the Sterling & Francine Clark Art Institute in Massachusetts, where he established the collection of photographs. While at the Clark, he taught the history of photography and of prints in the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art. Throughout his career, Ganz has organized dozens of exhibitions, including Jewel City: Art from San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition (2015), Portals of the Past: The Photographs of Willard Worden (2015), Arthur Tress: San Francisco 1964 (2012), Édouard Baldus: Landscape and Leisure in Early French Photography (2003), and Arctic Diary: Paintings and Photographs by William Bradford (2002), among others. Ganz has contributed to and authored numerous articles and exhibition catalogues, lectured widely, and held leadership positions at the Print Council of America.    

Ganz will join the Getty in July 2018.

AntiquarianAuctions.com is an online auction site dedicated to the sale of rare and out-of print books, maps & prints, documents, letters, ephemera and vintage photography. All pricing is done in US$. No buyer’s premium is charged. 

Nongoal.jpgLot 1: South African Police The Nongqai 1907-1913 (Five volume set) Published: Pretoria, 1907-1913. Estimate: $3,000/3,500 

The Nongqai was published over a span of 54 years. Although the oldest magazine in South Africa was the African Journal, published in February 1824, the Nongqai counts among the earliest magazines in South Africa Since its inception the SAP magazine underwent several changes of name, i.e. Nongqai, Justitia, SARP, (SAP), and ultimately Servamus. 

Lot 7: VOC. Council of Policy Letter of Burghership (Vrybrief). Dated 10 November 1739 (Signed by Hendrik Swellengrebel) Estimate: $1,500/2,000 

The document grants Johannes Nille from Nyburg, his freedom. He arrived in the Cape on the ship Noordwadd, in 1736 and was paid 14 guilders a month, employed by the DEIC. He was released from Company employment and given the status of burgher by the signing of this document at the Castle of Good Hope on 10 November 1739. 

Lot 199: McClean (William) and others. Fine Boer War Autograph Correspondence, 1900 - 1901. Estimate: $1,000/1,500 

An autograph Boer War correspondence/archive from Lieutenant William N. McClean, mainly to his father, the well-known Astronomer Frank McClean and including a few to Sir David Gill, Her Majesty’s Astronomer at the Cape. 

Lot 165: “Bob” Remarkable Manuscript Diary of the Siege of Mafeking. Published: Mafeking, 1899 - 1900 Estimate: $2,000/2,500 

A remarkable circa 15 thousand word diary/journal of the Siege and Relief of Mafeking written by a British soldier identified only as "Bob". Contained in 4 small notebooks measuring 16 x 10cms. and comprising 143 closely and neatly written pages in the form of letters to his parents in England. 

Lot 220: Milbert (J.G.), Deltil (JJ) & Zuber (J.). Papier peint "West Point in New York" on a three-fold screen. Published: France, [19th-century]. Estimate: $3,000/5,000 

Papier peint landscape scene of "West Point in New York", backed onto canvas and mounted on a three-fold screen. The set offered an idealized view of the United States under the leadership of Andrew Jackson, as conceived by its designer, Jean-Julien Deltil. He probably never visited the Americas, but did draw from a reliable eye-witness: the set was based on the views made on the spot by Jacques- Gérard Milbert. 

AntiquarianAuctions.com is an online auction site dedicated to the sale of rare and out-of print books, maps & prints, documents, letters, ephemera and vintage photography. 

Dealers and collectors worldwide have been selling and bidding on the site since 2010. Only established booksellers who are members of major national trade associations such as ABA, ABAA, PBFA or SABDA or are of good standing in the trade are permitted to sell on the site. 

Auctions are held every five weeks and run on the model of a timed auction for one week. 

All pricing is done in US$. No buyer’s premium is charged. 

Next auction: Auction #67: 7 - 14 June 2018 

Antiquarian Auctions: Paul Mills P.O. Box 186 7848 Constantia, Cape Town South Africa E-mail: support@antiquarianauctions.com Tel: +27 21 794 0600 

85-Midolle copy.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries’ Thursday, April 26 auction of Fine Illustrated Books & Graphics will offer books, magazines, portfolios, editions and unique works, with material that changed the trajectory of design and influenced book arts in the last two centuries.

Luminous works by Gustav Klimt lead the auction with the limited edition tours-de-force Das Werk, 1918, and Eine Nachlese, 1931. With text by Hermann Bahr and Peter Altenberg, Das Work is the only monograph published during Klimt’s lifetime. The present copy, numbered 103 of 300, retains 49 of the original 50 plates, including the ten printed in color and heightened in gold and silver, carries an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000. The lavish portfolio Eine Nachlese boasts 30 plates, 15 in color, compiled by Max Eisler. The tome features several important works by Klimt, including some which were destroyed by wartime fires. Rarely seen complete, it is here estimated at $15,000 to $25,000.

Works by fine artists of the twentieth century will include volumes by Jean Arp, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Salvador Dalí and David Hockney. One of 55 copies on vellum of Pablo Picasso’s idiosyncratic bestiary, Eaux-Fortes originales pour des textes de Buffon, 1942, with text by Georges Louis Marie Leclerc Buffon, is estimated at $20,000 to $30,000. Fernand Léger’s Cirque, 1950, is an unusual interpretation of the artist’s book: rather than use reproductions of existing works, he conceived and developed the theme and prints especially for the project ($20,000 to $30,000).

Fine presses are well represented in the auction, with a section devoted to works produced by the Ashendene, Cheloniidae, Doves and Kelmscott Press houses, as well as the Limited Editions Club. Both the second issue of the first book published by the Kelmscott Press, The Story of the Glittering Pain, 1894, with elaborate decorations by William Morris, and The Defence of Guenevere, 1892, published and decorated by the same and bound in vellum, carry an estimate of $2,500 to $3,500. An original woodblock carving by Eric Gill for the Golden Cockerel Press edition of The Canterbury Tales of a “naked man dead” dangling from a vine, 1929, was featured no fewer than ten times throughout the volumes ($2,000 to $3,000).

Of note is a never-before-offered trade catalogue of brightly colored wallpaper samples by Jacques-Émile Ruhlmann, the legendary Art Deco interior designer. Bound in original oblong leather folio, it is the most extensive array of Ruhlmann’s wallpaper designs known. The 47 pochoir sheets of 19 patterns reveal the effect of variant colorways on his designs ($15,000 to $25,000). Additional wallpaper sample books will also be available.

Design cornerstones can be found throughout the offerings: an early nineteenth-century piece de resistance of color printing and typography, Jean Midolle’s Spécimen des Écritures Moderns Romaines fleuronées, Gothiques nouvelles, Fractures, Françaises, Anglaises, Italienne et Allemande, 1834-35, influenced printers and designers for years to come ($3,000 to $4,000). The Russian avant-garde journal Zhurnalist, by El Lissitzky, helped to define the look of the Soviet regime; the first six issues of this extremely scarce periodical carry an estimate of $2,000 to $3,000.

An archive of material from a late office of Marcel Breuer’s architectural firm offers edifying insight into the architect’s vision. The largest section pertains to the monolithic building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side—previously the Whitney Museum of American Art and currently the Met Breuer. The files include early photographs of construction and finished buildings, floorplans and sketches for many of his iconic structures, including the Bobst Library at New York University and Yale University's Becton Engineering and Applied Science Center. Records span the 1960s and ‘70s, when Breuer was partnered with Hamilton Smith ($3,500 to $5,000).

The complete catalogue with bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com.

Image: Lot 85: Jean Midolle, Spécimen des Écritures Modernes Romaines fleuronées, Gothiques nouvelles, Fractures, Françaises, Anglaise, Italienne et Allemande, with 39 plates, Strasbourg, 1834-35. Estimate $3,000 to $4,000.

b56349e1056cf65b90174fa0267a2b638ba43ba9.pngBoston, MA—An amazing archive of signed drawings, diagrams, charts, and letters by Dr. Wernher von Braun concerning his pioneering ‘Man Will Conquer Space Soon’ series will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction.

The archive is comprised of a total of 26 items that include; 17 drawings and schematics, two orbital diagrams, four calculations and graph plots, and three autographed letters. All relate to four of the Collier’s articles: ‘Crossing the Last Frontier,’ ‘Man on the Moon: The Journey,’ ‘Man on the Moon: The Exploration,’ and ‘Baby Space Station,’ which appeared in in the magazine between 1952 and 1954. Also includes the four issues of Collier’s magazine associated with the items in the archive. 

Von Braun prepared the original drawings in this archive as reference materials for magazine artists Chesley Bonestell, Fred Freeman, and Rolf Klep, and most are evident as the direct inspiration for the illustrations that grace the pages of Collier’s in the ‘Man Will Conquer Space Soon!’ series. 

Von Braun’s skillful drawings are filled with engineering detail to provide the Collier’s illustrators with scientifically accurate renderings of the spaceships of the future.

In its introduction to the series, Collier’s makes clear: ‘What you will read here is not science fiction.’ Von Braun’s vision was not only fantastic, but scientifically viable—his copious scientific notes and calculations are proof. 

A few highlights from the archive: 

Detailed signed drawings for the three-stage rocket described in ‘Crossing the Last Frontier,’ including its nose section and exhaust system. Von Braun would later serve as the chief architect of the Saturn V, the rocket that brought man to the moon, which used a similar three-stage design. 

A fantastic sketch of the “Round trip ship” destined to bring man to the moon, which served to inspire Chesley Bonestell’s cover artwork for ‘Man on the Moon: The Journey.’ 

A page of von Braun’s calculations for propellant volumes necessary for “landing on the moon.” 

A crude sketch of a tracked “Moon Transport” vehicle, as described in ‘Man on the Moon: The Exploration.’ 

Comprehensive diagrams and schematics for the solar power plant of the ‘Baby Space Station’ and its ground support trailers. 

A lengthy autograph letter about the land-based ‘Headquarters’ for the ‘Baby Space Station,’ describing the layout and equipment inside. 

The Collier’s series drew widespread attention to von Braun’s vision of manned spaceflight—after the success of the first issue, he appeared on TV and radio shows around the nation to discuss the subject. He was soon recruited by Walt Disney, and served as a technical advisor for three TV films about space exploration between 1955 and 1957. These broadcasts brought the idea of the space program into American living rooms nationwide. 

For the first time, Americans had a vision of space travel not out of Buck Rogers, but grounded in scientific reality as envisioned by the central figure of the coming Space Age.

Among other items to be featured: 

Tom Stafford's Apollo 10 Lunar Orbit Flown American Flag.

Buzz Aldrin's Apollo 11 Lunar Surface-Flown Double Star Chart.

Gene Cernan's Apollo 17 Lunar Surface-Used Rover Map.

Space Shuttle External Tank Nose Cone Assembly complete with aerospike. 

The Space and Aviation Auction from RR Auction began on April 12 and will conclude on April 19. For information, visit the RR Auction web site at www.rrauction.com.

Image: A fantastic sketch of the “Round trip ship” destined to bring man to the moon, which served to inspire Chesley Bonestell’s cover artwork for ‘Man on the Moon: The Journey.’ Courtesy RR Auction

JFK Cuba.pngBoston - John F. Kennedy's personal 'victory map' of Cuba used during the Cuban Missile Crisis sold for $138,798 according to Boston-based RR Auction.

The map in two sheets that feature eight types of sticker symbols applied to the surface, representing Soviet MiG fighter jets, Komar-class missile boats, IL-28 bombers, SS-4 missiles, SSM-Cruise missiles and nuclear storage sites. 

The intelligence represented by this map was supplied by U-2 spy planes, confirming President Kennedy's worst fears of an increasing Soviet military presence just one hundred miles away from the American coast. 

The map is marked "Secret" in the lower left and upper right corners. A two-page key, dated October 27, 1962, summarizes the Soviet military buildup in Cuba, listing sites, enumerating number of launchers and missiles, and completion status.

Accompanied by a detailed letter of provenance, in part: "This ‘victory map’ was given to me about twenty years ago by Robert McNamara, the secretary of defense during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. During a meeting at his office, McNamara described for me the pressure President John Kennedy was under from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to order an attack on Soviet targets in Cuba. McNamara said the president pored over this map before deciding to delay the attack.When Kennedy presented the map to McNamara, he called it the ‘victory map.’ During my meeting with McNamara, he said this was the only time he ever heard Kennedy say anything that sounded like gloating about how the crisis ended.” 

In the annals of the Cold War, no event is more talked about and debated than the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 16, 1962 to October 28, 1962. It is considered the closest the world has ever come to nuclear war. 

"This amazing map dates to a critically important day of the crisis—a day that saw an American pilot shot down over Cuba. Had Kennedy given the order to attack, this map shows the nine Soviet targets that American fighters would have bombed," said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.  

“It’s a remarkable, museum-quality Kennedy piece— the current political tension between the United States and Russia may have played a role in elevating interest, and helping the map achieve such an impressive figure.”  The winning bid came from a collector in Los Angeles with a deep appreciation for American History who wishes to remain anonymous.

Highlights from the sale include, but are not limited by:

George Washington Revolutionary War-dated letter from West Point in 1778 sold for $36,546. 

Thomas Jefferson signed letter from Monticello in 1820 sold for $28,843. 

Benjamin Franklin twice-signed handwritten letter home from England while fighting the 1765 Stamp Act sold for $14,822. 

Giuseppe Verdi musical quotation from “La traviata” sold for $10,000. 

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts auction from RR Auction began on March 16 and concluded on April 11.  More details can be found online at www.rrauction.com.

57dae1d663f3b5beb31a5932_834x1100.jpgNew York—The Morgan Library & Museum announced today the acquisition of an extremely rare manuscript leaf by the finest and most original illuminator of the Dutch Middle Ages, the Master of Catherine of Cleves. The work is from an otherwise lost Book of Hours and is the first to be discovered by the artist since 1980. 

The Master of Catherine of Cleves was active in Utrecht, the Netherlands, from around 1430 to 1460. He is named after his masterpiece, the Hours of Catherine of Cleves, which is part of the Morgan’s collections, and only fifteen of his illuminated manuscripts survive. The newly discovered page contains the beginning of the Seven Penitential Psalms, written in Dutch, and the artist framed the text in an elaborate gold and foliate border. Figures depicted in the leaf include David playing the harp, two fighting birds, and an abbot praying to the Virgin Mary who holds the Christ Child. 

Beginning April 17th, the illumination will be added to the current exhibition on view at the Morgan, Now and Forever: The Art of Medieval Time, which runs through April 29. Visitors will be able to compare the new leaf to the Hours of Catherine of Cleves, two volumes of which are on view in the show.

“This is an extraordinary addition to the collections of our Department of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts and testimony to the connoisseurship and eagle eye of department head Roger Wieck,” said Morgan Director Colin B. Bailey. “The work of the Master of Catherine of Cleves is exceptionally scarce and any new discovery is an important development for art history. We are delighted that we can share the leaf with the public almost as soon as it arrives at the Morgan, and we are deeply grateful to the anonymous donor to the manuscript department who made the purchase possible.” 

The Master of Catherine of Cleves decorated books of private devotion for wealthy and noble families and illustrated liturgical books and Bibles for members of the high-ranking clergy. Stylistically, the new leaf suggests the late phase of the artist’s career. This is evident in the thick, angular drapery, the muscular facial features of the Virgin Mary, and the border design and layout. 

Image: The Virgin Offering her Milk to St. Bernard; King David Harping; and Two Fighting Birds on a leaf from a Bookof Hours illuminated by the Master of Catherine of Cleves, The Netherlands,Utrecht, ca. 1460.  Morgan Library &Museum, MS M.1209; purchased as an anonymous gift in honor of Roger S. Wieck, 2018.


america-4-1920x1000-hero.jpgLos Angeles — The Annenberg Space for Photography, a cultural destination dedicated to exhibiting both digital and print photography, announced its next exhibition - Not an Ostrich: And Other Images from America's Library

The exhibition, running from April 21 through September 9, 2018, is a collection of nearly 500 images - discovered within a collection of more than 14 million pictures - permanently housed in the world's largest library at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Put together by the distinguished photography curator Anne Wilkes Tucker, the exhibition features the image entitled "Not an Ostrich" and a large selection of rare and handpicked works from the vaults of the library, many never widely available to the public. Each picture documents a special moment in America's culture and history. Tucker, named "America's Best Curator" by TIME, was granted special access to the photographic archives at the Library of Congress.

The images selected for Not an Ostrich: And Other Images from America's Library span three centuries of photography (1800s, 1900s, 2000s), simultaneously telling America's story through evocative imagery, while revealing the evolution of photography itself - from daguerreotypes, the first publicly available photographic process, to contemporary digital images. The exhibition's name, Not an Ostrich, refers to an actual image included in the collection - a photo of actress Isla Bevan holding a "Floradora Goose" at the 41st Annual Poultry Show at Madison Square Garden - and hints at the unexpected and unusual artifacts collected at the Library of Congress over its 218-year history, some of which will be on display inside the Annenberg Space for Photography.

Other pictures among the hundreds on display: The Wright brothers' first flight, the earliest known portrait of Harriet Tubman, Harry Houdini bound in chains for a magic trick, action scenes from Vietnam War protests, Ku Klux Klan demonstrations, and an image of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. 

Not an Ostrich marks the first time an exhibition of this scale, featuring a selection of photographs from the Library of Congress, has been displayed on the West Coast, and represents a fraction of the Library's full collection as a way for visitors to rediscover one of America's most important cultural institutions. The full exhibition will include over 440 photographs from 1839 to the present, by 148 photographers - displayed both physically and digitally - including the works of Sharon Farmer, Donna Ferrato, Carol M. Highsmith, Danny Lyon, Camilo José Vergara, and Will Wilson, who will also be featured in the exhibit's original documentary produced by the Annenberg Foundation in partnership with Arclight Productions.

"The exhibit Anne Tucker has put together is one that truly reflects America in images. Each photograph exposes us to just a fraction of the millions of American stories held in the Library of Congress, from the iconic to the absurd," said Annenberg Foundation Chairman of the Board, President and CEO Wallis Annenberg. "Though cameras and technology have changed over the years, this exhibition shows us that nothing captures a moment, a time, or a story like a photograph."

"What a pleasure and an honor it was to work with the Library of Congress selecting these photographs. Glamour, worship, invention, bravery, humor, cruelty and love - this collection of photographs preserves all examples of our humanity as well as chronicling America's history in extraordinary photographs. The Library is an inexhaustible trove available for anyone to explore," said Anne Wilkes Tucker, Curator Emerita of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. 

"The Library of Congress not only collects and preserves America's cultural heritage but also works to make those comprehensive collections accessible to as many people as possible. I am so thrilled about this opportunity to present the Library's rich photography collection at the Annenberg Space for Photography," said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. "I hope photography and history enthusiasts around Los Angeles and beyond who visit this unprecedented exhibition will have their curiosity piqued about all that is available to them at their national library."

Not an Ostrich will remain on display from April 21 through September 9, 2018. Visitors can access the exhibition with free admission Wednesdays through Sundays from 11 AM to 6 PM, at the Annenberg Space for Photography (2000 Avenue of the Stars Los Angeles, CA 90067). For more information about Not an Ostrich: And Other Images from America's Library visit: https://www.annenbergphotospace.org/exhibits/not-an-ostrich

Heritage Casa.jpgDallas, TX - A rare post-war French release double grande poster from Casablanca soared to $143,400, helping Heritage Auctions’ Movie Posters Auction reach $1,958,775 in total sales.

A film that was made with the hope of creating a successful war drama only to evolve into a beloved classic is represented beautifully in this Casablanca (Warner Brothers, 1947) First Post-War French Release Double Grande, which drew multiple bids before ultimately selling for $143,400. This poster is extraordinarily rare, one of just two known to exist anywhere, and features artwork believed to have been done by Hervé Morvan, the popular 20th-century poster artist.

“This auction contained a variety of desirable posters for collectors of all tastes,” Heritage Auctions Vintage Posters Director Grey Smith said. “The Casablanca poster is a beautiful poster that drew the attention of our most serious collectors.”

One of the most actively pursued lots in the auction was Superman (Columbia, 1948) Six Sheet, which realized $35,850. The first comic book superhero made it to the big screen in a live-action format 10 years after he first was introduced in Action Comics #1. This poster also is exceptionally rare - one of just two of this large format known to exist.

The poster from The Lady Eve (Paramount, 1941) One Sheet is exceedingly rare, which helped spark demand from multiple bidders before it eventually brought $33,460. This classic Preston Sturges comedy is considered one of his best.

Believed to be the only known copy in existence, Morocco (Paramount, 1931) French Horizontal Double Grande validated its rarity when it passed its high pre-auction estimate on its way to a final sale price of $31,070. This extraordinary French stone lithograph from Josef von Sternberg’s classic drama bears a magnificent image for a magnificent film. Roger Soubie’s depiction of the sultry Marlene Dietrich is considered one of the best illustrations ever painted of the star.

Offered for the first time through Heritage Auctions, Adventures of Captain Marvel (Republic, 1941). One Sheet Chapter 1—“Curse of the Scorpion” is another that sparked significant competition among bidders before ultimately yielding $31,070. This poster is one of only a small handful still known to exist from what many consider to be one of the greatest serials produced.

Other top lots included, but were not limited to:

·       Casablanca (Warner Brothers, R-1949) Insert: $28,680

·       King Kong (RKO, 1933). Swedish Oversized Poster: $26,290

·       Star Wars by Michelangelo Papuzza (20th Century Fox, 1977). Original Mixed Media Concept Artwork: $26,290

·       Sunnyside (First National, 1919) Six Sheet: $24,258.50

·       Creature from the Black Lagoon (Universal International, 1954) One Sheet: $23,900

·       Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Warner Brothers, 2004) Lenticular One Sheet: $17,925

76-Ray.jpgNew York—Swann Galleries will offer an auction of Graphic Design on Thursday, May 3, celebrating innovation in the field, with an array of vintage posters, along with a coterie of fine graphically-oriented objets d’art including original maquettes, an Hermès scarf and playing cards.

Leading the selection is an extremely rare panel from Man Ray’s iconic campaign for the London Underground, - Keeps London Going, evoking the artist’s signature Rayographic style. The indelible image equates the solar system with the functionality of the London subway system; it was the world’s most expensive travel poster from June of 2007, when it sold for $100,906 at Christie’s, until 2012, when a poster by A.M. Cassandre sold at Swann Galleries for $159,900. In this auction, it carries an estimate of $80,000 to $120,000.

Another masterwork of urban transportation design is Massimo Vignelli’s iconic map of the New York City subway system, the descendant of which is still in use today. The neat, organized lines of what in reality was a veritable labyrinth of overlapping train systems signaled a new age in graphic design, in which geographic accuracy was subordinate to visual appeal. Offered in the auction is the revised edition of the original 1972 version, printed in 1978 ($1,000 to $1,500).

A wealth of early Secessionist works will be available, many of them in the strikingly tall vertical format common in Viennese posters at the time. Of special interest is Alfred Röller’s tri-color graphic masterpiece for XIV Ausstellung / Secession / Klinger Beethoven, 1902, which also served as the frontispiece for the exhibition catalogue, estimated at $30,000 to $40,000. Another fine example is Oskar Kokoschka’s Kunstschau, 1908, done in a whimsical fairytale style, and valued between $20,000 and $30,000. The cover lot for the sale is Frommes Kalendar, 1899, by Koloman Moser, depicting a woman holding an hourglass and an ouroboros, symbolizing the waning of the century and the circle of life ($20,000 to $30,000).

Charles Loupot is well represented in the sale with a large selection of works spanning his career. Leading the pack is a dramatic tour-de-force of printing: the 1949 advertisement for Lion Noir / Cirage - Crème, a shoe-polish company, depicting a lion in glossy black against a matte background ($30,000 to $40,000). Another highlight is Cailler / Chocolat au Lait, 1921, and the minimalistic ad for Voisin Automobiles, 1923 (each $15,000 to $20,000). Also by Loupot is a pair of pochoir prints depicting high Art Deco fashion on models against a complementary misty background. Together they carry an estimate of $2,500 to $3,500.

The auction will feature a large selection of advertisements for automobiles, perhaps as a consequence of the manufacturers’ wish to seem forward-thinking. Among several early highlights are Ludwig Hohlwein’s rose-tinted poster for Mercedes in 1914, and the azure version of Roger Pèrot’s masterpiece, Delahaye, 1932 ($20,000 to $30,000 and $8,000 to $12,000, respectively).

Adolphe Mouron Cassandre was commissioned by Hermès to design fashionable accessories in his signature style. The resulting collaboration is represented in the auction by a fine silk scarf reminiscent of the architectural mazes of M.C. Escher, 1951, and a set of playing cards with two decks in vivid color (each $700 to $1,000).

Based on the recently released map of the London Underground by Henry Beck, Laszló Moholy-Nagy’s poster for Imperial Airways / Map of Empire & European Air Routes, 1936, reimagines the world as an interconnected, eminently navigable network for travel ($3,000 to $4,000).

Influential works from the second half of the twentieth century include signed exhibition posters by Keith Haring and Roy Lichtenstein, as well as Günther Kieser’s concert poster for The Doors and The Canned Heat, 1968 ($3,000 to $4,000). Also of note is an original oil painting by Stanley Mouse, designer of The Grateful Dead’s iconic skull and roses motif, of, naturally, a skull crowned with roses. The estimate is $3,000 to $4,000.

The complete catalogue with bidding information is available at www.swanngalleries.com.

Additional highlights can be found here.

Image: Lot 76: Man Ray, [London Transport] - Keeps London Going, 1938. Estimate $80,000 to $120,000.

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, the Library of Congress has made available online—for the first time—musical manuscripts and scrapbooks from the legendary composer’s personal and professional archives housed in the nation’s library. These digital offerings and others nearly tripled the existing content at loc.gov/collections/leonard-bernstein/about-this-collection/. The public can now access for free more than 3,700 items, including photos, writings, correspondence, scripts, musical sketches, scrapbooks and audio recordings. This web presentation is a revealing snapshot of Bernstein’s extensive collection at the Library.

“Bernstein arguably was the most prominent musical figure in America in the second half of the 20th century,” said Mark Horowitz, curator of the Leonard Bernstein Collection. “A polymath—a Renaissance man—he was a composer, conductor, pianist, educator and social activist. He composed musicals, ballets, operas, film scores, a mass, chamber music and symphonies.” 

New online content includes materials on Bernstein’s involvement in the civil rights movement, his time as a student at Harvard and scripts for the “Ford Presents” and “Omnibus” programs. Other highlights include:

• “West Side Story” outlines, synopses and notes, including an early synopsis titled “Romeo and Juliet” in which the gangs pit Jews against Catholics as opposed to Anglos versus Hispanics; 

• “West Side Story” audition notes, including Bernstein’s comments about Warren Beatty’s audition for the role of Riff (“Good voice - can’t open jaw - charming as hell - cleancut”);

• All of Bernstein’s musical sketches for “Candide,” including “Glitter and Be Gay” (titled “Cunegonde’s Jewel Song”); “I Am Easily Assimilated” (originally titled “Old Lady’s Jewish Tango”) and “Overture”;

• Materials relating to the Black Panther Party fundraiser that resulted in the famous Tom Wolfe article in New York Magazine, “Radical Chic: That Party at Lenny’s”; also included are letters from Coretta Scott King, Gloria Steinem and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis;

• A sound recording of Bernstein’s sermon, “Hope in the Nuclear Age,” presented at the All Souls Unitarian Church, Jan. 27, 1985. 

The Bernstein Collection consists of an estimated 400,000 items, one of the largest and most varied in the Library’s Music Division. In addition to music and literary manuscripts, personal correspondence, audio and video recordings, fan mail, business papers, photographs and datebooks, there are unexpected items that range from passports and license plates to batons and the suit in which Bernstein conducted his New York Philharmonic debut in 1943. Also among these unusual items are Bernstein’s notes for a Holocaust opera (tentatively titled “Babel”) he was working on the year of his death; a manuscript for an unproduced circa 1941 ballet, “Conch Town” that included the music for what became “America” from “West Side Story”; and a seven-page, color-illustrated letter to his mother documenting a trip to Israel during the 1948 war. 

The conductor’s collection is also one of the most heavily used in the Music Division. Among its researchers is Bernstein’s own daughter, who is working on a memoir. “It’s beyond gratifying to see that not only musicians and scholars can access these materials, but also students of all ages, and in fact virtually anyone on the planet with an internet connection,” said Jamie Bernstein. “The word I so often find myself using to describe my father is not a word he knew in his lifetime: broadband. The Bernstein collection has this same broadband quality.” 

In addition to the expanded website, the Library will celebrate the Bernstein centennial with a spring mini-fest of activities May 12-19 drawn from the richness of the collection. On Friday, May 18, the Library will present an evening of excerpts from three of Bernstein’s major stage works—the musical “1600 Pennsylvania Avenue” and the operas “Trouble in Tahiti” and “A Quiet Place”—and other extraordinary rarities from the Library’s collection. On Saturday, May 19, rarely seen materials will be on display, providing an illuminating portrait of the man and the artist and informal behind-the-scenes presentations and performances will uncover fascinating details about “West Side Story,” “Candide” and “On the Town.” The celebration also includes film screenings, which include “On the Waterfront,” a National Film Registry classic scored by Bernstein. More information about events can be found at loc.gov/concerts/bernstein100.html.

The Music Division at the Library of Congress contains an unparalleled collection of manuscripts, scores, books, libretti, music-related periodicals and microforms, copyright deposits and music instruments. Manuscripts of note include those of European masters such as Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms and those of such American masters as George and Ira Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber and Charles Mingus. More information can be found at loc.gov/rr/perform.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov, access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov


p1canfig4712k01snvt7c1ggq8g35.001.jpegIn a document presented at the most important annual rare book sale in Paris this week, April 13-15 we discover a fifteen-year-old Marcel Proust, in love with a 13-year-old Russian girl, torn between feelings, dreams and intelligence.

The teen-aged Proust condemns narrow-mindedness and wants to understand everything and read everything. He did not omit any answer when filling in a personality game questionnaire popular at the time. 

For many of the questions asked Proust finds the space provided too limited and his writing, already ‘Proustian’, overflows into the margin. The questionnaire was an English designed personality game that became very popular in Britain and France.

According to Proust’s biographer, Jean-Yves Tadié, the future writer was nearly 16 when he answered this questionnaire and he was in love with a young girl, aged 13 whom he used to meet every day on the Champs-Elysées. Marie Benardaky was the daughter of Nicolas de Benardaky, former master of ceremonies at Russia’s Court. The family lived at 65 rue de Chaillot in Paris. Hence Proust’s reference, in the Questionnaire, to Russian people, the nicest, and to his favorite activity: to love. The significance of the questionnaire is that it offers the earliest insight into his double inclination of the romantic and the intellectual.

This is a major discovery for all Proust fans and the academic community. It is being shown in public for the first time at the Paris International Rare Book and Fine Art Fair on April 13-15.

The Fair is one of the most important international gatherings in the field of written heritage. It is also the only salon in the world that brings together experts in objets d’art in 40 subjects from archaeology to contemporary art through jewellery, haute époque, tribal art, antique weapons and clockmaking .

Beneath the nave of the Grand Palais it gathers 150 booksellers and 50 experts, receives 20,000 visitors in three days and presents some 100,000 documents and objects.

This year sees the 30th edition of the International Rare Book Fair organized by SLAM, the Syndicat national de la Librairie Ancienne et Moderne (National Union of Old and Modern Bookshops). In April 2017 it was joined by the CNES, Chambre Nationale des Experts Spécialisés (National Chamber of Specialist Experts), to create the Rare Book and Fine Art Fair, an event uniting French expertise at its highest level! 

Exhibitors save their best discoveries for this salon. This is evidenced by Laurent Coulet, Parisian bookseller, who will exhibit a totally unknown Proust questionnaire that he has just discovered, the first completed by Marcel Proust, on 25 June 1887, the year he turned fifteen.

The questionnaire was a game aimed at revealing one’s personality. It originated in 19th century England and was made famous by the witty replies of universally recognized writer Marcel Proust. For sale in stationary shops, in English or French, these worldly questionnaires were full of indiscreet questions. 

There are two other questionnaires known to be filled out by the hand of Proust before Laurent Coulet discovered this latest one, which is the first to be fully completed by the author, and also the one with the most abundant answers, undoubtedly the one in which he confided the most.

Another, dated 4 September 1887, filled in at the request of his friend Antoinette Faure, comprised 24 questions printed in English on an A4 page; it was acquired at auction in 2003 by the Gérard Darel Company for the sum of €120,000. The other questionnaire known to date, comprising 31 questions in French, had appeared in 1936, published in a catalogue of Galerie Pierre Bérès, and then seen in 1965 for the last time, on the occasion of an exhibition at the Bibliothèque Nationale, France’s national library.

This is, of course, a major discovery, which will be shown for the first time at the Paris International Rare Book and Fine Art Fair.

The Fine Art Fair is the only expert fair in the world and is gaining momentum. By creating this fair in 2017, the CNES, Chambre Nationale des Experts Spécialisés en objets d’art et de collection (National Chamber of Experts Specialising in Objets d’Art and Collectible art) intended to show the public the role of the expert in discoveries, advice and heritage protection. 50 experts (compared to 40 last year) will show their latest discoveries and expertise in objects in all domains: from jewellery to furniture to twentieth century art, modern paintings, clockmaking, silverware, archaeology, tribal art and military memorabilia. 

Throughout the show you can attend a guided tour and conferences, participate in the manufacture of special paper and in bookbinding workshops, learn about bibliophilia, and meet artists, experts and Maîtres d'art (Masters of Art, awarded this title by the French Ministry of Culture to distinguished arts and crafts professionals, for their exceptional expertise and ability to pass on their knowledge).

Image: An unknown Proust questionnaire dated 27 June 1887 ©Librairie Laurent Coulet

360.jpgChicago, IL— Potter and Potter Auctions is pleased to announce this upcoming sale to be held on Saturday, April 28th, 2018 starting at 10am CDT at the company's gallery, located at 3759 N. Ravenswood Ave., Chicago, IL 60613.  All lots are on display and available for public preview on Thursday, April 26th and Friday, April 27th from 10:00am to 5:00pm in their facility. 

This auction's selections of magic ephemera are simply spellbinding, with archives and research materials in the spotlight. 

The top lot in this sale is #357, a mostly 1922-1925 era, two volume spiritualism scrapbook signed, kept, and annotated by Harry Houdini (1874-1926).  Estimated at $30,000-40,000, the first book includes newspaper and news-magazine clippings from the US and abroad pertaining to spiritualism and related subjects.  The second book is almost entirely devoted to coverage of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s belief in spiritualism and the supernatural. These scrapbooks offer fascinating, firsthand, and personal insights into the project of “spirit debunking” to which Houdini turned in the final chapter of his life and career.  

Lot #360, Elliot Sanford’s Houdini manuscripts and archive, is another astonishing find for magic historians. Estimated at $10,000-15,000, it includes books, clippings, and ephemera, as well as over 100 pages of manuscripts that chronical Sanford's year with the Houdini family in tantalizing detail.  Full of unpublished data and anecdotes, the information revealed within this collection is a book just waiting to be written - and its contents easily may realign early twentieth century magic history.  

Lot #596, a magic trick archive from "Cardician" Ed Marlo (1913-1991), is estimated at $5,000-8,000.  The contents dates from the 1950s to 1980s and include photos and manuscripts detailing Marlo’s magic effects. Many of the manuscripts include corrections, annotations, illustrations, and comments from Marlo in the margins.  Our experts note, "This is overall an irreplaceable and significant archive of the great “behind the scenes” card wizard of the twentieth century, one of the true titans of the genre whose output was virtually unmatched."  

Magic apparatus is another key category in this sale, with over 150 lots of props, tricks, cases, and trunks taking center stage.  Lot #260, an Owen Magic Supreme 1966 Eclipse Vanishing and Appearing Lamp, is estimated at $4,000-5,000. This illusion involves an illuminated lamp disappearing from a table and quickly reappearing on a hand-held tray.  Lot #208, a c. 1950's Rabbit Tray from stage magician and illusionist Harry Blackstone (1885-1965), is estimated at $1,000-1,500.  One of Blackstone's signature tricks was changing a box of candy into a live rabbit; this wooden framed, canvassed compartment helped make that happen.  And it’s all hands on deck for this sale's offering of cards and card apparatus, with 10 fine lots available.  Lot #225, an unopened pack of Silver Peau Doux playing cards from 1934 is estimated at $250-360. These bridge-size fanning cards, marked Chicago Walgreen Co., were purchased by master magician Cardini (1895-1973) for use in his famous act.  

Collectors are bound to be thrilled with this sale's over 200 lots of magic books on offer.  Lot #141, The Vernon Chronicles: The Lost Inner Secrets, Volumes I - IV, is estimated at $3,000-5,000.  Only 14 copies of this privately offered, numbered, and signed quartet were produced in the 1987- 1992 timeframe.  Each book in this majestic set is detailed with half morocco over marbled boards, raised bands, a tooled spine, and 14-karat gold stamping, and is housed in a matching cloth slipcase. Lot #159, a first edition of Edward Sachs' Sleight of Hand from 1877, is estimated at $1,000-1,500. This early, handsome, and important early 204 page book has gilt edges and is stamped ornamentally in silver, gilt, and black.  And two books with Houdini connections are certain to cast a spell over enthusiasts.  The first, lot #361, is a Houdini-signed 1913 copy of Knotting & Splicing Ropes and Cordage, estimated at $1,200-1,800.  This edition, edited by Paul Hasluck and published in London, contains occasional underlining, annotation, and ink drawing in the text, probably by multiple hands.  And the second, lot #380, is Houdini's own Houdini’s Paper Magic, estimated at $1,800-2,600.  Published in 1922, this example has been inscribed and signed by Houdini.

This Magic Memorabilia sale closes the loop with fantastic assortments of photos, advertisements, costumes, and other rarities.  Perhaps the pinnacle of the 130 posters and artwork on offer is lot #387, The Jail Breaker and Dexerous Handcuff King Houdini poster, estimated at $3,000-5,000.  This eye-catching, two color broadside is linen backed and measures 35" x 11". A presidential caliber highlight is lot #369, a spirit photo of Houdini with Abraham Lincoln’s ghost, estimated at $500-750.  Lot #602, a wine-colored brocade jacket and white silk shirt worn by Dutch magician Tommy Wonder (1953-2006) is estimated at $1,500-2,000. And how about gifting an emerging young magician in your life with lot #350, a c. 1930 A.C. Gilbert Magic Exhibition Set No. 2005, estimated at $200-300?  Its fantastically illustrated box cover proudly promotes it as, "A fascinating collection of the tricks, sleight of hand, illusions etc. of world famous magicians with illustrated book of instructions. A set for boys and grown-ups, too." 

According to Gabe Fajuri, President at Potter & Potter Auctions, "We are delighted to offer magic enthusiasts these exceptional and well curated lot selections.  The Sanford and Marlo archives are once in a lifetime offerings, and it is thrilling to consider what secrets they may hold. They would be particularly appealing to historians, museums, and academic research organizations worldwide. Sach's Sleight of Hand book is also one of my favorites from this sale. The only other edition I know of is in my personal collection. I recommend it for both its content and stunning presentation."

Potter and Potter, founded in 2007, is a Chicago area auction house specializing in paper Americana, vintage advertising, rare books, playing cards, gambling memorabilia, posters, fine prints, vintage toys, and magicana - antiques and collectibles related to magic and magicians. For more information on this sale and Potter & Potter Auctions, please see www.potterauctions.com. If you can't make the auction in person, bids for these extraordinary offerings can be placed directly on the company's website, by phone by arrangement, or via an absentee bid form, which can be accessed by clicking here.

Image: Lot 360 Elliot Sanford’s Houdini Manuscripts and Archive. Estimate $10,000-15,000. 

Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 8.27.05 AM.pngNew York—Renowned for his portraiture and depictions of rural landscapes, the eighteenth-century British artist Thomas Gainsborough (1727-1788) is best known as a painter. However, he was also a draftsman of rare ability who extended the traditional boundaries of drawing technique, inspiring an entire generation of British artists such as John Constable (1776-1837) and J. M. W. Turner (1775-1851). 

Beginning May 11, the Morgan Library & Museum presents an exhibition solely focused on Gainsborough’s works on paper, bringing together twenty-two outstanding examples in graphite, chalk, oil paint, and other media. Included in the show, which runs through August 19, are preparatory studies, finished works, and exercises made for the artist’s own enjoyment.

“As with many artists, Thomas Gainsborough used the medium of drawing to experiment and explore,” said Colin B. Bailey, director of the Morgan Library & Museum. “Famous in his day for his paintings of members of the British aristocracy and gentry, he eagerly turned to drawing as a respite from his portrait work. It allowed him the freedom to pursue his passion for rendering nature and scenes of country life utilizing new stylistic effects in color, line, and material. The Morgan is pleased to present its first exhibition on this important aspect of Gainsborough’s art.”


The Career of a Portrait Painter

Thomas Gainsborough trained in London, where he displayed an innate talent for drawing and painting. The artist’s earliest figure drawing, A Boy with a Book and a Spade (1748), served as a study for the signboard of a village school. Minor commissions such as this were a primary source of income for a novice painter like Gainsborough as he tried to establish his career. 

In Bath, where he moved in 1759, Gainsborough emerged as the era’s most fashionable and successful portraitist. There he became fascinated with the effects of light on fabric, often using black chalk to explore different tonal solutions. His renderings of sitters’ expressions and the rich texture of their clothing led to his reputation as the Anthony van Dyck of his time.

Gainsborough would later create figure studies with models in different poses, using inventive techniques intended to capture the viewers’ eye in an instant. In Lady Walking in a Garden (ca. 1785, see page 1), the woman’s translucent silk dress is a technical tour de force: the artist superimposed fine veils of white and yellow chalk, applied both wet and dry, imitating the feathery brushstrokes that characterize his paintings.

Despite his commercial success as a figure painter, later in life Gainsborough wanted to escape from what had become for him the routine of portraiture and business life. “I am sick of Portraits” he complained in a letter to a friend, “and I wish very much to. . . walk off to some sweet village where I can . . . enjoy the fag End of Life in quietness and ease.” 

A Passion for Creating Landscapes 

Gainsborough would come to devote much of his time to creating landscapes of his own invention on paper. Laying out stones, branches, leaves, and soil of various colors on his worktable, he assembled and drew landscapes in his studio.

In his quest for original effects, the artist often looked to rugged terrain, contrasts of light and shade, and the nuances of shadow resulting from the changing seasons. He explored the rolling topography of natural settings and gothic, shadowy atmospheres in his early years. They offered him almost limitless compositional possibilities as he simultaneously conducted his technical experiments: for instance, he immersed his paper in milk and varnished it to give his landscape drawings a transparent tint. 

In the mid-1770s, Gainsborough increasingly experimented with drawing by mixing different media and applying varnish to surfaces to produce landscapes that mimicked the visual effects of oil paintings. In the following decade, he would go on to produce variations of similar compositions drawn mainly in black and white chalk: serpentine, asymmetrical landscapes with moving skies, windswept trees, solitary animals, and scenes of agrarian life.

Gainsborough also embraced printmaking. By combining different etching techniques, he produced prints in imitation of his drawings, replicating on the surface of the copper plate the same variety of textural and tonal effects that characterize his chalk drawings. He turned to aquatint to evoke the transparency of the sky and water, as seen in Wooded Landscape with Cows beside a Pool (1755-1780), a rare print from the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Toward the end of his career, he began favoring concepts rather than depicting a realistic view. In Figures in a Wooded Landscape, (1785-88), trees, animals and rocks lose their shape, and parts of the landscape veer toward pure abstraction.

Gainsborough’s experiments subverted the academic conventions of drawing—by combining techniques and materials, he called into question the distinction between drawing and painting. His technical achievements became a paradigm for British art for the whole of the eighteenth century, and his later works in particular influenced the near abstract compositions of the next generation of British artists. Always in fierce pursuit of the “new” in drawing, Gainsborough lamented on his deathbed that he was “to leave life just as he was beginning to do something with his art.” 


The accompanying catalogue, Thomas Gainsborough: Experiments in Drawing, features full-page reproductions of seventeen works in the exhibition, a foreword by director Colin B. Bailey, and essays by Moore Curatorial Fellow Marco Simone Bolzoni and conservator Reba F. Snyder. 

Author: Marco Simone Bolzoni; Publisher: Paul Holberton Publishing; 84 pages 


Washington, D.C. — Greg Prickman, head of Special Collections at the University of Iowa Libraries, has been named Eric Weinmann Librarian and Director of Collections at the Folger.

"I am so excited to be joining the Folger Shakespeare Library as the Eric Weinmann Librarian,” said Prickman. “The Folger is such a vibrant place, and I am thrilled to begin working with the staff. They have made the collections what they are today, and I look forward to contributing to the next chapter in the life of this magnificent library.”

During his tenure at the University of Iowa, Prickman has prioritized making collections accessible to contemporary audiences. He was the instigator of DIY History (https://diyhistory.lib.uiowa.edu), a crowdsourcing transcription project for Civil War diaries and other digitized manuscripts, and the creator and lead developer of The Atlas of Early Printing (http://atlas.lib.uiowa.edu), a digital, publicly accessible map depicting the development of printing in Europe in the 15th century that uses GIS mapping. Other projects have included the digitization of more than 10,000 science fiction, fantasy, and horror fanzines from the James L. "Rusty" Hevelin Collection; renovation of the UI Libraries exhibition gallery; significant increases in instructional use of the collections; preservation and digitization of reel-to-reel data tapes from the Explorer satellites, first launched in 1958; and an innovative focus on social media and special collections.

Under his leadership, recent acquisitions to the library's collections include the Gallup family papers, the Tom Brokaw papers, and the Brinton Collection of Early Film. He appears in a 2017 documentary featuring this  collection entitled Saving Brinton (http://brintonfilm.com). 

In 2016, Prickman planned and led the exhibition of a Folger First Folio at the University of Iowa as part of the Folger's nationwide tour, The First Folio! The Book that Gave Us Shakespeare. He has also been the curator of more than 20 exhibitions on diverse subjects associated with the library's special collections, including the 250th anniversary of William Blake's birth, the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, and the impact of Star Trek. Prickman co-founded the Iowa City Book Festival, and co-directed it from 2009 to 2011. He is the recipient of the Arthur Benton University Librarian’s Award for Excellence in 2015 for contributions to the University of Iowa Libraries.

Prickman came to the University of Iowa Libraries in 2006, working as a special collections librarian and then as the assistant head of Special Collections and University Archives before becoming the head of Special Collections in 2011. He has also taught graduate-level courses at the university's Center for the Book and School of Library and Information Services. Before Iowa, he worked at public, academic, and corporate libraries, including the Ebling Library at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Special Collections and Preservation Division of the Chicago Public Library. 

He has written many articles and book reviews, including an interview with science fiction and absurdist author Jasper Fforde, whose books, including The Eyre Affair, are richly grounded in libraries and literature. Prickman is a long-standing member of the Caxton Club (Chicago).

A 1994 graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, Prickman majored in History and Studio Art with a printmaking focus. His MLS, with a specialization in Rare Books and Manuscripts, is from Indiana University.

“Greg Prickman’s deep experience with special collections and ability to lead a talented staff will be a great asset to the Folger for years to come,” said Folger Director Michael Witmore in making the announcement. “I look forward to working with Greg as we continue to build this great collection and make it even more accessible to the many audiences we serve.”

Leslie Hindman Auctioneers is pleased to announce that Francis Wahlgren has joined the firm as an exclusive consultant for its Fine Books and Manuscripts department. He will be based in New York, but will assist the auction house's eight locations nationwide, including its Chicago headquarters. He joins Gretchen Hause, Director of Fine Books and Manuscripts, who joined the firm in May of last year. Mr. Wahlgren and Ms. Hause previously worked together for 7 years in the Books and Manuscripts Department at Christie's in New York.

Over the past twenty-four years, Mr. Wahlgren has appeared regularly as an appraiser on the Antiques Roadshow. Francis first joined Christie's in 1987 as a porter in the Books and Prints Departments and, working through such historic sales as the Estelle Doheny Library sale, continued developing his expertise.

In 1990 he joined Swann Galleries as cataloguer and became an auctioneer before re-joining Christie's in 1993 to start a book department at Christie's East. He headed this department until 1997 when he became Head of the New York Department at Park Avenue and was appointed Senior Vice President in 2000. In 2007 he was appointed International Head of the Books and Manuscripts department based in New York with global responsibilities for the department, and from 2013 to his departure in 2017 served as International Director focusing on the most important clients and business worldwide.

"I am thrilled to be working with Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, and I am eager to contribute my experience and many relationships to this thriving auction firm based in the heart of the American rare book world," said Wahlgren. "I am excited about the opportunity of working together with Gretchen and the Hindman team focusing on bringing important collections and pieces to the market here."

Over the course of his career, Wahlgren managed the sale of numerous important and historic book collections including The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine, which realized a notable $18.7 million; The Abel Berland Library of English Literature and early printed books; The History of the Book: The Cornelius J. Hauck Collection, which totaled $12.4 million; The Frank S. Streeter Collection of Navigation and Voyages; Important Books, Atlases and Manuscripts: The Private Library of Kenneth Nebenzahl; and The Arthur & Charlotte Vershbow Collection of illustrated books.

He has also brought significant items to auction such as the Francis Crick "Secret of Life" letter, which sold for a record-setting price exceeding $6 million; a rare suppressed first edition of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, which sold for $1.54 million; a Bute set of John James Audubon's The Birds of America, which sold for $8.8 million; and a first edition of Newton's Principia, which sold for $3.7 million, to name some of his other significant accomplishments.

"It is not surprising to me that the majority of the greatest books and collections I have sold over the last three decades have either been consigned by or purchased by clients in the Midwest. I truly believe our combined focus on bringing more high-quality activity through Chicago will be a welcome development for collectors and institutions alike," said Wahlgren. 

Francis began his career at the Pierpont Morgan Library after graduating with a master's degree in art history and medieval books from Queens College, New York.

To contact the Fine Books and Manuscripts department at Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, visit lesliehindman.com or call 312.280.1212.

Return of copy.jpgDallas, Texas—A hand-written manuscript by one of the most popular and successful mystery writers of all time will be up for sale in Heritage Auctions’ Manuscripts Auction April 18 in Dallas, Texas. 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle penned The Adventure of the Dancing Men in 1903 for publication in The Strand Magazine. Doyle’s first two novellas featuring Sherlock Holmes were published more than a decade earlier to positive reviews, but it was not until the appearance of his short stories in The Strand Magazine that Doyle’s popularity and fame surged.  

According to Randall Stock, a member of The Baker Street Irregulars, Doyle got the idea for the dancing men cipher in May 1903. Stock says, “While staying at the Hill House Hotel in Norfolk (England), Doyle signed a young woman’s autograph book. The book also contained drawings on another page by two children: Gilbert John Cubitt and Edith Alice Cubitt had signed it using decorated letters and a stick-figure sketch involving music.” Combining elements used by the children and influenced by Edgar Allan Poe’s The Gold Bug, Doyle crafted the dancing men cipher. He used the children’s surname, “Cubitt,” for the client in the story. 

The significance of the Dancing Men manuscript (est. $500,000+) cannot be overstated. This is an actual working manuscript that shows Doyle’s complete process in weaving a story. Emendations run throughout, and Doyle is careful to cross out words and make additions in such a way that both the original text and revisions are visible.

Provenance of the manuscript can be traced back to Doyle, when he donated the bound manuscript to an auction for the benefit of the Red Cross in 1918. The current owner and consignor was gifted the manuscript by her father, a noted book dealer in Texas.

Like most Sherlock Holmes stories, The Adventure of the Dancing Men is told from the perspective of Watson, who tells the tale through first-person narration. The plot centers around a series of messages containing the stick figures that arrive at the home of Hilton Cubitt and his American wife, Elsie Patrick. While Holmes endeavors to decipher the code and determine the source of the notes, both Cubitt and Patrick are shot — Cubitt fatally (making this one of just two stories in which a client dies after seeking Holmes’ help). Holmes is able to identify Patrick’s former fiancé as the killer by sending back notes using the stick figures.

“The Dancing Men manuscript was last offered at auction more than 90 years ago,” says Sandra Palomino, director of historical manuscripts at Heritage Auctions. “We had the privilege of appraising the manuscript back in 2012,” Palomino says, “and we are thrilled to be selected to bring it to auction. Although other Doyle manuscripts have appeared in recent years, The Adventure of the Dancing Men is a highpoint in the Doyle canon.”

The manuscript will be on display at Heritage Auctions’ New York offices located at 445 Park Avenue from April 9 through April 12.

Other top lots in the auction include, but are not limited to:

·       John Adams Letter Signed (est. $32,000+)

·       George Washington Autograph Letter Signed (est. $15,000+)

·       William J. Stone for Peter Force: The Declaration of Independence (est. $15,000+)

·       Dian Fossey Archive of Letters and Photographs (est. $15,000+)

·       Union Navy Archive of Letters of George S. Paul, Naval Engineer (est. $12,000+)

·       George Washington Letter Signed as Commander-in Chief of the Continental Army (est. $12,000+)

Bidding begins March 30 on HA.com.

Los Angeles — Profiles in History is proud to announce highlights from their upcoming Animation & Disneyana Auction on May 5th in Los Angeles.

This amazing remote controlled iconic droid was built for use in the Disney parks in 2004, using actual screen used R2-D2s from the original Star Wars trilogy as reference. Precise measurements, and an abundance of photographs were used to create one of the most accurate R2-D2s ever! 

From 2004 until its retirement in 2014, this R2-D2 was used throughout Walt Disney World. In the summer of of 2011, this droid made daily appearances at Disneyland's Tomorrowland.  This droid was also part of the Star Wars Celebration of 2010 with George Lucas and John Stewart. One of the most exciting events for the little droid was with the NASA space program when, on behalf of LucasFilm, R2 presented Luke Skywalker’s screen used Light Saber to an astronaut, so it could fly on the Space Shuttle Discovery.

This R2-D2 is fully functional, makes 53 different sounds from the original Star Wars trilogy, and features working fiber optic lights. After being seen by millions of fans, and a decade in the parks, he’s ready to find a new home. It is estimated to sell for $100,000 - $200,000.

Concept design drawings for Epcot’s World Showcase, estimated to sell for $2,000 - $3,000. Concept design drawings and other material for an unrealized Disney World Thames River Attraction, estimated to sell for $3,000 - $5,000.

Concept design drawing for an an unrealized Discovery Bay attraction at Disneyland, estimated to sell for $1,500 - $2,500. All of these are by famed Disney innovator Harper Goff, who in 1993 was posthumously named a Disney Legend. Harper Goff art never comes up for auction, so this is a rare opportunity.

Walt Disney's signed Last Will and Testament. It's 23-pages in length, titled, “Last Will and Testament of / Walter E. Disney,” dated June 9, 1951, Burbank. Boldly signed by “Walter E. Disney”.  It is estimated to sell for $20,000 - $40,000.

Rare Disney Parks Attraction props including a vehicle from the theme park attraction of Mr. Toads Wild Ride for $15,000 - $25,000, an animatronic Pirate head from Pirates of the Caribbean for $2,000 - $4,000, an animatronic figure of "Henry" from Disneyland's Country Bear Jamboree for $4,000 - $7,000, an animatronic “Mickey Mouse” from Mickey and the Beanstalk from Disneyland Main Street for $4,000 - $7,000 and an animatronic  “Pluto” from Disneyland Main Street for $3,000 - $5,000.

A wide variety of Disney animation art including key set ups from the Cinderella Ballroom scene for $15,000 - $25,000 and the Lady and the Tramp"Bella Nolte" scene for $35,000 - $40,000.  Other animation includes Keith Haring Sesame Street art for $1,500 - $2,500.  Also included are rare one of a kind drawings and comic strip art by legends Dr. Seuss and Charles Schulz.  

For more information visit:



Twitter: @pihauctions

Instagram: @profilesinhistory


Unknown.jpegLos Angeles, California - Van Eaton Galleries, one of the world’s premier animation artwork and collectibles galleries, has announced “The Life and Career of Disney Legend Rolly Crump” an Exhibition and Auction to be held Saturday, April 28, 2018 beginning at 11:00 a.m. PDT at Van Eaton Galleries located at 13613 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks, California. 

One of Walt Disney’s early Imagineers, Rolly Crump is known as a “true” original. He joined The Walt Disney Studios in 1952 where he quickly became one of the most multi-talented artists on Walt’s team. In 1959, he joined show design at WED Enterprises, later known as Walt Disney Imagineering. It was there that he became one of Walt’s key designers for some of Disney’s groundbreaking new attractions and entertainment, including the Haunted Mansion, the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Adventureland Bazaar.

Rolly also served as a key designer on the Disney attractions featured at the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair, including It’s a Small World and the Tower of the Four Winds. When the It’s a Small World attraction moved to Disneyland in 1966, Rolly designed the larger-than-life animated clock at its entrance, which sends the children of the world on a parade each quarter-hour.

Rolly would go on to contribute to the initial design of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida, where he would improve upon such popular attractions as Peter Pan’s Flight, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and Snow White’s Scary Adventures for the new Florida Park. Rolly aided in the master planning of EPCOT Center, and would serve as project designer for The Land and Wonders of Life pavilions prior to the 1981 opening.

He departed from Disney in 1981 to lead design on a proposed Cousteau Ocean Center Park in Norfolk, Virginia, and to launch his own firm, the Mariposa Design Group. Rolly would develop an array of themed projects around the world, including work for Barnum and Bailey’s Circus World, Knott’s Berry Farm, and the Golden Nugget Casino.

In 1992, Rolly returned to Imagineering as executive designer, redesigning and refurbishing The Land and Innoventions at EPCOT Center. Rolly “retired” from The Walt Disney Company in 1996, but continued to work on a number of creative projects. He released his autobiography; It’s Kind of a Cute Story, in 2012.

Crump had a special relationship with Walt Disney, often sharing ideas and stories that would ultimately create an attraction or character at the park. Rolly has stated, “Walt had the ability to reach inside of you and bring out a part of you within, a part that even you were unaware existed. Walt’s character and how he ran the Studio brought out the best in me. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without Walt.”

In addition to artifacts from his work at the Disney Studios, the exhibition and auction also includes a selection of Crump’s original artwork and designs which highlight the sense of humor and imagination that made him an invaluable asset to Walt Disney and The Disneyland Parks.

Among the highlights to be offered at “The Life and Career of Disney Legend Rolly Crump” Exhibition and Auction at Van Eaton Galleries are rarities including Rolly’s original model for the It’s a Small World clock (Estimate: $60,000-$80,000); several original designs for Rolly’s popular “Doper Posters” of the 1950s including the first doper poster Rolly made featuring an Indian advertising marijuana (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000); Rolly’s original models for the It’s a Small World façade (Estimate: $15,000-$20,000); a Fountain Shield from the Enchanted Tiki Room which was originally sculpted by Rolly Crump (Estimate: $3,000-$4,000); Rolly’s original concept designs for the Tiki Room Preshow Garden Gods (Estimate: $2,000-$4,000 each); Rolly’s original designs for the Museum of the Weird portion of the Haunted Mansion (Estimate: $4,000-$6,000 each); An original doll of a toy soldier used in It’s a Small World at the 1964 New York World’s Fair (Estimate: $8,000-$10,000); an original Mary Blair concept painting for the It’s a Small World façade (Estimate: $12,000-$15,000); an original Mary Blair ink concept drawing for the It’s a Small World clock (Estimate: $10,000-$15,000); An original devil prop from the opening of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500); A Ticket from the Grand Opening of Disneyland (Estimate: $3,000-$5,000), A Costumed Character Head from Babes in Toyland (Estimate: $800-$1,000); Several of Rolly Crump’s original hand painted “Push Down” toys (Estimate: $400-$600 each); an original Haunted Mansion Attraction poster (Estimate: $7,000-$9,000); Rolly Crump’s original Master Plan drawing for EPCOT Center (Estimate: $1,500-$2,500); and an original “Enchanted Tiki Room” Tangaroa Baby Prop (Estimate: $3,000-$4,000). There are over 400 lots in the auction which also includes original paintings and sculptures from Rolly’s career.

“When you think of the imaginative spirit of Walt Disney you can’t help but also think of Rolly Crump,” said Mike Van Eaton, Co-Owner of Van Eaton Galleries. “Together they made Disney history and created some of the most famous Disney attractions of all time. Now in his late 80’s Rolly is still as spirited and creative as he was in the early 1950s when his career was just beginning. We are so honored to be able to present this massive collection highlighting his career and personal life. For us and Rolly, it’s all about the ‘magic’!”

“The Life and Career of Disney Legend Rolly Crump” Auction will take place on Saturday, April 28, 2018 beginning at 11:00 PDT. The auction will take place live on-site at Van Eaton Galleries at 13613 Ventura Blvd in Sherman Oaks, California.  Bidders can also bid online and by phone.  To register go to www.vegalleries.com/rollycrump An Exclusive Media Preview will take place on April 9th, 2018 beginning at 9:00 a.m. PDT and a free Public Exhibition will run from April 10th to April 27th, beginning at 10:00 a.m. PDT daily until 6:00 p.m. PDT Tuesday-Saturday and Sunday 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. PDT. The gallery is closed on Mondays. 

“The Life and Career of Disney Legend Rolly Crump” Auction Location

Van Eaton Galleries

13613 Venture Blvd

Sherman Oaks, California

“The Life and Career of Disney Legend Rolly Crump” Public Exhibition

Beginning Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - Friday, April 27, 2018

Closed Mondays

Tuesday to Saturday, 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. PDT

Sunday, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. PDT

To register go to www.vegalleries.com/rollycrump

To order a Rolly Crump Auction Catalog go to www.vegalleries.com/rollycrump

A link to the online catalog can be seen here: vegalleries.com/rollycrump

For more information on Van Eaton Galleries go to www.vegalleries.com

Image: Courtesy Van Eaton Galleries                                              

New York-- Printed Matter is pleased to announce the appointment of Sonel Breslav as Director of Fairs & Editions. Sonel comes to the organization with ten years experience as an arts administrator and curator, and a long-running engagement with artists’ books and the independent publishing community.

In her new capacity as Director of Fairs & Editions, Sonel will oversee all aspects of the NY and LA Art Book Fairs, two of Printed Matter’s largest public programs. She will also direct the organization’s participation in domestic and international art fairs, as well as curate and manage the production of Printed Matter’s fundraising editions. 

Most recently, Sonel was National Chapters and Programs Manager at ArtTable, the foremost professional organization dedicated to advancing the leadership of women in the visual arts. From 2013-2017 she was the Director of Murray Guy, New York, where she curated exhibitions of work by gallery artists such as Moyra Davey, Zoe Leonard, and Alejandro Cesarco, among others. 

Sonel also has an extensive background within the artists’ book community, founding Blonde Art Books in 2012, an independent organization dedicated to promoting small press and self-published art books through exhibitions, talks, and a publishing imprint. In 2013 she initiated the Bushwick Art Books & Zine Fair for a growing community of local publishers, with the most recent event including over 100 exhibitors from across the country and a full schedule of programming.

On her appointment to Director of Fair & Editions, Sonel said: “I’m hugely excited to take on the opportunities and challenges that come with this role, and am eager to contribute to an organization whose mission coincides with my own commitment to artists’ publishing and community building. I have always felt that book fairs provide a uniquely meaningful way to capture the energy, ingenuity, and vision of artists and publishers working in the medium. I look forward to pushing the NY and LA Art Book Fairs in new directions, and continuing to build an environment of support for all reaches of a diverse community.”

Printed Matter’s Executive Director Max Schumann said of the appointment: “We are thrilled to have Sonel taking up the Fair leadership—her long commitment to artists’ publishing and experience working closely with artists makes her remarkably well-suited for the role. We’re grateful to have such a thoughtful and talented individual joining the organization, and we’re excited to see Sonel put her experience to use in support of artists and publishers, and the continued evolution of the NY and LA Art Book Fairs.” 

Max continued: “We remain indebted to the invaluable contributions of Shannon Michael Cane, who served as the Curator of Fairs and Editions from 2013-2017. His passion and advocacy for emerging artists and publishers heightened the dynamism of Printed Matter’s Art Book Fairs— among his many other lasting contributions to the organization—and we look forward to honoring his memory as the Fairs continue into the future.” 

The New York Society Library is proud to announce the winners of the 2017-2018 New York City Book Awards. 

Founded in 1995, these awards honor the best books about New York City published in a given year, regardless of genre. As New York City’s oldest cultural institution, the Library is uniquely suited to present the New York City Book Awards. 

The winning books: 

  • Mike Wallace, Greater Gotham: A History of New York City from 1898 to 1919 (Oxford University Press)
  • Roz Chast, Going Into Town: A Love Letter to New York (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • Francis Spufford, Golden Hill: A Novel of Old New York (Scribner)
  • Anthony W. Robins, New York Art Deco: A Guide to Gotham’s Jazz Age Architecture (SUNY Press)
  • Jennifer Egan, Manhattan Beach: A Novel (Scribner)
  • Hornblower Award for a First Book: Lisa Ko, The Leavers: A Novel (Algonquin Books)

Members of the book awards selection committee read and reviewed approximately 140 books published in 2017 with New York City as their major topic or setting. The winners qualify as titles of literary quality or historical importance that evoke the spirit or enhance appreciation of New York City, shedding some new or unusual light on it. The Hornblower Award, established in 2011, is presented to an excellent New York City-related book by a first-time author. 

The selection committee itself includes many New York City-based authors. It was chaired by Warren Wechsler and comprised Bianca Calabresi, Barbara Cohen, Ellen Feldman (Terrible Virtue, Next to Love), Ella M. Foshay (John James Audubon), Karl E. Meyer (The China Collectors, Pax Ethnica), Janice P. Nimura (Daughters of the Samurai), Stephen Raphael, and Peter Salwen (Upper West Side Story). 

The winning authors and publishers will be celebrated at a reception and awards presentation on Tuesday, May 1, at the New York Society Library. The ceremony is by invitation.   

More general information and a complete list of winners from the awards’ past 22 years can be found here

The 2017-2018 New York City Book Awards are generously underwritten by Ellen M. Iseman. 


Sutra Close Up copy.jpgHong Kong - Today at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong, a new auction record was established for two sets of Buddhist Sutra Manuscripts from the Ming Dynasty. The most important Buddhist manuscript ever to have appeared at auction, the Imperial Wisdom Sutras sold for HK$238,807,500 / US$30,428,852. This outstanding historical relic is a legacy of the Golden Age of the Ming dynasty, made by imperial order of the Ming Emperor Xuande in the first part of the 15th century. Preserved in pristine condition, the set of Sutras is the only surviving example outside of the National Palace Museum, Taipei. Originally recorded in a Kyoto aristocratic collection in 1917, they remained out of sight until the ground-breaking Ming exhibition at the British Museum in 2014. Buddhist Sutras are canonical scriptures that render the teachings of the Buddha, which were taken over from India and copied. Their copying and propagation was considered a meritorious practice, and when such deeds were performed by an emperor, the resulting works were inevitably of the highest standard in terms of the materials used and the artists and craftsmen employed. Full details here. 

A magnificent enamelled pink-ground ‘falangcai’ bowl, without question the finest example of its type and the only example of its design ever recorded, also achieved the exceptional price of HK$238,807,500 / US$30,428,852. Unseen on the market for over 30 years, the bowl is unique, though it has a ‘brother’ in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, which is painted with different flowers but using the exact same colour ground. Full details here. 

Making its auction debut after a hundred years, a highly important rediscovered handscroll, Ten Auspicious Landscapes of Taishan, the greatest masterpiece of the renowned imperial court painter Qian Weicheng drew over 100 separate bids during a 40 minute bidding battle, pushing the final sale price to HK$146,794,000 / US$18,704,491. Presented in ten sections, the scroll depicts ten spectacular views of Mount Tiantai in Zhejiang province and is also inscribed with ten poems written by the Qianlong Emperor. Full details here 

*The previous world auction record was held by “Anonymous (Ming Dynasty) COLLECTION OF BUDDHIST SUTRAS”, which was sold for HK$14,026,000 at Sotheby’s New York’s Fine Classical Chinese Patingins & Calligraphy Sale on 19 Mach 2015. 


Paradisea rubra le paradis rouge copy.jpgBonhams is to offer one of the finest collections of ornithological books in private hands - Wassenaar Zoo: a Dutch Private Library - in London on 30 May 2018. The library comprises more than 2,400 volumes.

The collection, which also contains zoological works on cats, monkeys, fish, chameleons, elephants, and other animals, was assembled during the 1950s to complement the work of Wassenaar Zoo, which has since closed.

Highlights of the collection include:

  • A near-complete run of John Gould’s magnificent folios, from his first major work A Century of Birds… from the Himalaya Mountains for which his wife Elizabeth supplied the drawings to the Birds of Asia and Birds of New Guinea that were completed after his death. The pinnacle of Gould’s work is his seven-volume Birds of Australia (1840-1869), the result of his own tour of the continent during which he named 300 new species of birds. This is also included in the sale and is estimated at £100,000-150,000.
  • Five major works by Daniel Giraud Elliot, one of the most important American ornithologists and naturalists of the nineteenth century and a founder of the American Museum of Natural History in 1869.
  • Histoire naturelle des oiseaux de paradis (1806) and several other studies by the French explorer, zoological collector, and noted ornithologist François Levaillant.

Bonhams Head of Fine Books and Manuscripts, Matthew Haley said: “It is rare to find such a comprehensive library of books on ornithology. All the best-regarded names of this very special art form are included, and there are also sumptuous works on zoology. These scientific landmarks were arguably the natural history documentaries of their day, and show that people have been fascinated by wildlife for centuries.”

Image: Jean Baptiste Audebert & Louis Pierre Vieillot, Oiseaux dorés ou à reflets métalliques, 1800-02. First Edition. Desray, Paris. Estimate: £10,000-15,000. Courtesy of Bonhams


2018branch_rickey_486x711.pngBaseball scouting reports of one of the most famous baseball executives and scouts in history, Branch Rickey, who was also responsible for helping Jackie Robinson successfully break Major League Baseball’s color line, have been digitized and are now available online for the first time from the Library of Congress. The archive was digitized in time for Major League Baseball’s new season and for the Library’s new exhibition “Baseball Americana” opening June 29.

The collection includes about 1,750 baseball scouting reports from the 1950s and 1960s, documenting Rickey’s skill in analyzing various aspects of a player’s game and identifying some of the greats. The Rickey Papers are online at loc.gov/collections/branch-rickey-papers/about-this-collection/.

“I have loved baseball my whole life. In fact, when I was little I wanted to be a shortstop. I am really excited to connect fans of the game with this extraordinary history. The Library’s Branch Rickey Collection reveals on how he discovered some of baseball’s greatest players. His spot-on assessment of players will take fans and historians into the mind of a sports genius,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “This is a little preview of what is to come in our upcoming exhibition opening this summer, ‘Baseball Americana.’”  

Some of the better-known players featured in the collection include Hank Aaron, Lou Brock, Roberto Clemente, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax, Willie Mays and Frank Robinson, among others. In addition to future Hall of Famers, Rickey also evaluated hundreds of players who had varying degrees of success.

Highlights of the Rickey Papers include:

  • Rickey’s 1963 scouting report on Hank Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth’s long-standing home run record of 714 in 1974. Rickey wrote that Aaron was “surely one of the greatest hitters in baseball today” but also noted Aaron “is frequently a guess hitter.”
  • A 1955 scouting report on Roberto Clemente, who amassed 3,000 hits in his Hall of Fame career for the Pittsburgh Pirates
  • A report dated March 30-31, 1964, on future National Basketball Association great Dave DeBusschere, where Rickey predicted that DeBusschere “should become a corking good major league pitcher.”
  • For Hall of Famer Bob Gibson, Rickey noted on March 14, 1964, “when trying out young players… scouts and coaches would keep in mind Bob Gibson as a model for comparison and rate the prospect’s stuff accordingly.”

Rickey’s impressive career earned him a place in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, but he defied easy categorization.  One biographer concluded that “his writings revealed a man of tremendous intellect and indomitable drive,” but “appeared to be the man of ultimate paradoxes, a capitalist/moralist/competitor/do-gooder/visionary/reactionary.”

The digitization of the Rickey Papers is part of a larger effort to make historical materials available online. Other newly digitized collections include the papers of U.S. Presidents James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and James K. Polk, and the papers of Alexander Hamilton, Margaret Bayard Smith, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

Image: Detail of American baseball player, manager and executive Branch Rickey between 1909 and 1919. (National Photo Company Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress)

47-CDV.jpgNew York—Institutional purchases dominated the buying field at Swann Galleries’ auction of Printed & Manuscript African Americana on March 29. The top lots of the auction were almost entirely manuscripts, archives, early photographs or otherwise unique material. A large percentage—four of the top five, and 13 of the top 20—will be joining public collections.

The auction was led by an album of cartes-de-visite featuring abolitionists and African-Americans from the Boston area. The most popular lot during the preview week, it was something like a "little sister" to the album handled by Swann in 2017 that contained a previously unrecorded photograph of Harriet Tubman. It was purchased by an institution for $47,500, above a high estimate of $9,000.

An archive of six letters by Frederick Douglass, which had remained in a family collection since their receipt, led a significant selection of material related to the abolitionist. The correspondence, addressed to his friend Ebenezer Bassett, concerned race relations, Haiti and politics; it provides fascinating new insights into the mindset of one of the greatest Americans toward the end of his life ($42,500). The only known complete copy of Farewell Song of Frederick Douglass, on Quitting England for America—the Land of his Birth, a songbook by Julia and T. Powis Griffiths, flew past its high estimate of $7,500 to reach $37,500. Another Douglass highlight was a signed cabinet card with his photograph, taken by George Kendall Warren. The image was used as the frontispiece for his third autobiography; it was purchased by an institution for $30,000, double its high estimate, and a record for a signed photograph of Douglass.

Additional records were set throughout the sale. A rare variant printing of the famous Plan of an African Ship’s Lowe Deck, with Negroes, in the Proportion of Not Quite One to a Ton, 1789, a powerful image from the early abolitionist movement, brought $16,250—a record for any of the dozens of versions issued. The classic freedman's education narrative Mary S. Peake, the Colored Teacher at Fortress Monroe, circa 1863, by Lewis C. Lockwood, set a record at $3,750, while the first edition of Zora Neale Hurston's Mules and Men, 1935, reached a record $4,250.

An archive of photographs from Café Society, the first important integrated nightclub in America, includes candid images of Lucille Ball, Rita Hayworth and Frank Sinatra, along with shots of performances by the Andrews Sisters and Josh White, Count Basie and various jazz ensembles. The nearly 300 photographs were found among the papers of the club’s promoter, Ivan Black, after it was unceremoniously closed in 1948. The archive was purchased for $20,000, above a high estimate of $3,000.

Specialist Rick Stattler noted that "after 22 years of fine catalogues put out by my predecessor Wyatt Houston Day, it was a challenge to do credit to this sale. Fortunately, the market for this important material shows no signs of slowing down. While results were strong overall, it was the most rare and unique material in this sale that brought out stiff competition, particularly from the institutional buyers."

The next auction of Americana at Swann Galleries will be Printed & Manuscript Americana on April 12, 2018. The house is currently accepting quality consignments for autumn auctions. 

Image: Lot 47: Carte-de-visite album with 83 images of prominent African Americans and abolitionists, circa 1860s. Sold March 29, 2018 for $47,500. (Pre-sale estimate: $6,000 to $9,000)

National Comedy Center Opens

Jamestown, NY — The National Comedy Center, the first non-profit cultural institution and national-scale visitor experience dedicated to the art of comedy, announces its opening August 1-5, 2018, coinciding with the organization’s annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, in Jamestown, NY. The new 37,000 square foot, $50 million facility tells the story of comedy from its origins through the present, with more than 50 immersive, interactive exhibits.

“There has never been a national cultural institution that provides comedy the opportunity for appreciation often afforded other art forms. Culture is preserved by meaningful storytelling. What these artists have done is important, and it should be both celebrated and contextualized, drawing connections that make the past relevant to the present. Lucille Ball understood the power of comedy, and had the vision for her hometown to become a destination for its celebration in a way that would educate, foster and inspire. That’s what we’ve set out to do here,” said National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson.

In a special press briefing at the site on Friday, March 30th, United States Senator Charles Schumer announced his push for a congressional designation for the Center.  The new designation would officially make the National Comedy Center the nation’s cultural institution dedicated to the art of comedy, recognizing it as the only institution of its kind with the mission of preserving, protecting, and showcasing the art of comedy and its role in our culture.

"Comedy is an art form, and it's a part of our rich cultural history in America. I am proud to stand here today, as the Comedy Center takes shape, and begin my push to officially designate this the National Comedy Center of the United States," said Senator Schumer.

Each visitor will experience a personalized trip through the Center as exhibits respond to one’s personal comedic sensibilities via use of a wristband fitted with an RFID chip worn throughout the stay. Highlights include George Carlin’s massive personal archives that provide a glimpse into one of comedy's most prolific minds, a hologram theater that presents performances of some of comedy’s most notable figures, and experiences that allow visitors to step into the shoes of comedic artists. Additionally, the National Comedy Center will feature rare artifacts from some of comedy’s most notable names and bodies of work.

"We are thrilled to announce the opening of this amazing project which was conceptualized and launched more than seven years ago by a group of dedicated and hard-working individuals who have worked tirelessly to make this dream a reality,” said Tom Benson, Project Chairman. “The National Comedy Center will take guests on a journey through all aspects and eras of the art form. It is the repository that has never existed that will respectfully celebrate comedy in a fun and unique way for generations to come. .We sincerely thank all of our funding partners who have provided the support to make this happen.”

Funding for the National Comedy Center was provided by state, federal and private philanthropic support. Through the support of I LOVE NY™, more than $9 million has been provided by Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State’s Empire State Development and the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The Center is expected to attract more than 100,000 annual visitors and have a $23 million annual stabilized economic impact on the region.

The National Comedy Center embodies Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown to become a destination for the celebration of the comedic arts — a vision already realized via the programming of the National Comedy Center’s dialogues, the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, and its renowned Lucille Ball Comedy Festival for more than 25 years.

Past festival performers and dialogue participants have included: Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno, Ray Romano, Ellen DeGeneres, Bob Newhart, Jim Gaffigan, Lewis Black, Trevor Noah, W. Kamau Bell, Brian Regan, Kevin James, Joan & Melissa Rivers, Robert Klein, David Steinberg, Peter Farrelly, Martin Short, Alan Zweibel, Joy Behar, The Smothers Brothers, the creative team of David Letterman’s 33-year career, the families of Lenny Bruce, Richard Pryor, Harold Ramis and George Carlin, and more than 100 other comedic artists.

The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum features rare memorabilia from “I Love Lucy”, props, costumes, Lucille Ball's Emmy awards, and replica studio sets. In conjunction with the National Comedy Center, the Lucy Desi Museum is currently updating its facility and will be unveiling new exhibits in August.

Located in Jamestown, a city in Chautauqua County and Western New York, the National Comedy Center is in the region of Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Toronto. 

For more information, visit http://www.comedycenter.org

l envol.jpgNew York - The Photography Show will be held Thursday, April 5, through Sunday, April 8, 2018, at Pier 94 in New York City. The 38th edition of the Show will feature 96 of the world’s leading fine art photography galleries, over 30 book sellers, 15 AIPAD talks, three special exhibitions, one screening room, and more. Presented by AIPAD (Association of International Photography Art Dealers), the fair is the longest-running and foremost exhibition dedicated to the photographic medium. A vernissage will be held on Wednesday, April 4.

Presenting a range of museum-quality work including contemporary, modern, and 19th-century photographs, as well as photo-based art, video, and new media, The Photography Show will feature galleries from more than 14 countries and 49 cities from across the U.S. and around the world, including Europe, the U.K., Asia, Canada, and South America. Twelve new galleries are exhibiting for the first time at AIPAD this year: 6x7 Gallery Warsaw; galerie SIT DOWN, Paris; In The Gallery, Copenhagen; Jean-Kenta Gauthier, Paris; MEM, Tokyo; Paul Nicklen Gallery, New York; Sears-Peyton Gallery, New York; Senior & Shopmaker Gallery, New York; The Ansel Adams Gallery, Yosemite National Park, CA; Three Shadows +3 Gallery, Beijing; Todd Webb Archive, Portland, ME; and Toluca Fine Art, Paris. A complete listing of exhibitors is available at AIPADshow.com/Exhibitors.


Solo Exhibitions/Themed Exhibitions

Artists employ objects in multiple ways - as a subject, an idea, and an extension of an artwork itself. In Serial Structures: The Object in Performance at JHB Gallery, New York, seven artists look at objects as mundane as a plastic water bottle and as exalted as a mirror reflecting the forest of Fontainebleau.

Performance/Politics will present depictions of both villains and heroes by more than 35 photographers, from Phyllis Galembo’s 2016 image Trump Mask, Mexico to Dan Weiner’s 1956 portrait Martin Luther King Jr., Bus Boycott, Montgomery, Alabama. The exhibition will be on view at Steven Kasher Gallery, New York. 

A solo exhibition, W. Eugene Smith at 100, will be exhibited at Etherton Gallery, Tucson. The work is from the archive of Takeshi Ishikawa, who was Smith’s assistant for three years during the photographer’s time in Minamata, Japan. Smith covered the environmental disaster caused by the Chisso Corporation, which from 1932 to 1968 had dumped mercury into the water. Some of the images of Smith at work in Minamata have never been shown outside Japan.

Celebrating the arrival of spring, A Flower Show—with photography by Tony Mendoza, Mike Smith, and Lucinda Devlin, among others—will be presented by Lee Marks Fine Art, Shelbyville, IN.

Artist Binh Danh fled Vietnam and arrived in the U.S. with his family when he was a child. Danh’s work calls attention to Vietnam’s history and the many victims of the Khmer Rouge regime. Using his unique method for creating chlorophyll print photograms on tree leaves, Dahn then reproduces them in daguerreotype form to memorialize the faces of the Cambodian genocide. A solo exhibition of his recent work, Binh Danh: The Ghosts of Khmer: Light and Memory, will be on view at Lisa Sette Gallery, Phoenix.

MEM, Tokyo, will offer a solo exhibition of the work of Gen Otsuka, a renowned 20th century Japanese photographer who worked in postwar photojournalism in Japan and played a role in the development of modern Japanese photography.

Dutch artist and cultural anthropologist Witho Worms links the altered landscape to his finished prints. He photographs the debris left over from coal mining and then grinds the actual coal from the site he photographed into a fine pigment that is used in his photographic process. His work will be on view at L. Parker Stephenson Photographs, New York, as part of a coal-related theme, depicting man’s troubled relationship to the environment.

Hans P. Kraus Jr. Inc., New York, offers a walk through the old-growth forests of the 19th century. Into the Woods will include photographs by William Henry Fox Talbot, Gustave Le Gray, and J. B. Greene.


In the late 1970s, Lynn Gilbert began photographing the most prominent women in the U.S. and in the process created a time capsule of the American feminist landscape. Her iconic portraits include Julia Child, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Billie Jean King, Louise Nevelson, Gloria Steinem, Susan Sontag, and Barbara Walters and will be on view at Throckmorton Fine Art, New York. Gilbert’s work is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Sally Mann’s portrait Virginia, from 2004, will be exhibited at Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York. Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings is on view at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., through May 28.

Ethiopian artist Aida Muluneh’s recent vibrant photographs express African women’s issues of gender, identity, and the colonial experience at Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco.

Staley-Wise Gallery, New York, will show a number of famous rock and roll legends, including a 1974 photograph of John Lennon and Mick Jagger, a 1964 photograph of the Beatles reading their fan mail, and from that same year a portrait of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez with a sign that says, “Protest Against the Rising Tide of Conformity.”

Two celebrated portraits by Yousuf Karsh—of Winston Churchill and of Ernest Hemingway—will be on view at Contemporary Works/Vintage Works, Chalfont, PA.  Another pair of portraits, from the mid-1950s by Bernice Kolko—Diego Rivera painting and Frida Kahlo in bed—will be on view at Charles Isaacs Photographs, New York.

When the Chinese artist couple Rong Ron & inri were told they had to leave their Beijing apartment to make way for a new development, they held a funeral for their home and used it as a backdrop for their work. Their self-portraits in their soon-to-be-demolished home can be seen at Three Shadows + 3Gallery, Beijing.

William Wegman’s recent photographs pair his best-known models, his Weimaraner dogs, with mid-century modern furniture and will be exhibited at Senior & Shopmaker Gallery, New York. His work is also on view in Before/On/After: William Wegman and California Conceptualism at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, through July 15, 2018.

Arnold Newman’s 1959 portrait of a confident young Willem de Kooning can be seen at

Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, as well as work by Robert Frank, Dorothea Lange, Ray Metzker, Joel Meyerowitz, and William Klein.

Galerie Catherine et André Hug, Paris, will show Reine Paradis’s narrative photographs in which she is the central figure in surreal color-filled landscapes.

Rare Work

Richard Moore Photographs, Oakland, CA, will offer a collection of silver prints made by 11 photographers working for the Farm Security Administration from 1935 to 1942, including rarely seen work by Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Ben Shahn. In addition, a rare 1932 print by Ansel Adams will be included in a selection of photography by San Francisco Bay Area members of the Group f/64, who sought to promote a new modernist aesthetic.

Todd Webb was known for his humanistic mid-20th-century images of New York, Paris, and Georgia O’Keeffe and the American West. A number of his lesser-known photographs, including those from Africa, will be on public view for the first time. His work was seen in a 2017 solo exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York and will be presented at AIPAD by the Todd Webb Archive, Portland, ME.

Abstract Work

Scheinbaum & Russek Ltd, Santa Fe, will exhibit work from Alfred Stieglitz’s Equivalents series made between 1925 and 1934. Stieglitz was among the first to produce completely abstract photographic works of art. He believed his studies of clouds could express pure emotion, paralleling how the artist was feeling when the shutter was snapped. 

San Francisco-based photographer Chris McCaw has created an innovative photographic process whereby he exposes vintage photo paper to sunlight over long time frames, resulting in images that are literally seared by the sun. His work will be on view at Candela, Richmond, VA. 

Social Issues and Resistance 

In 2016, photojournalist Ryan Vizzions went to North Dakota to cover the Dakota Access pipeline protests at Standing Rock. Amplifying the voices of the indigenous people, his work has drawn major attention to the issue and has been published in many media outlets. It will be on view at Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe.

Rolf Art Gallery, Buenos Aires, will show work by Adriana Lestido, one of Argentina’s most renowned photographers, known for documenting women in prison in the early 1990s. The women were allowed to keep their babies with them there, but only until they were two years old. Lestido photographed the women’s arrivals at the facility, their daily life in the cells, and the dramatic separations from the children when they were too old to remain. The series, Imprisoned Women, developed into a book, which was dedicated to Lestido’s father, who had been imprisoned during the photographer’s childhood. 


Daniel Beltrá’s passion for conservation is evident in his striking large-scale photographs of landscapes shot from airplanes, which offer the viewer both the beauty and destruction he witnessed. His work, which has taken him to all seven continents, can be seen at Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago. 

American photographer Robert McCabe’s photographs of Greece in the 1950s will be on view at galerie SIT DOWN, Paris. McCabe captured Greek rustic life, traditions, and archaeological ruins.

Murray Fredericks has made more than 20 journeys to Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre in South Australia to capture the vast and boundless landscape. His work received its U.S. debut at Robert Mann Gallery, New York, this year and will be exhibited at AIPAD for the first time.

After entering the field only five years ago, self-taught Dutch photographer Bastiann Woudt has experienced a meteoric rise within the world of photography, with the publication of several books and with his work on view throughout Europe. His portraits and landscapes from his 2017 trip to Mukono in Uganda will be on view at Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta.

Additional Highlights

Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, will exhibit artists Mickalene Thomas, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, Zanele Muholi, Andrew Moore, and Victoria Sambunaris. Bruce Wrighton’s Saint George and the Dragon series, on view for the first time since 1988 at Laurence Miller Gallery, New York, explores icons and images found in churches and barrooms in the Binghampton, NY, area.

IBASHO, Belgium, will show contemporary and modern work by Japanese photographers including Asako Narahashi, Yoshinori Mizutani, Hiroshi Hamaya, and Eikoh Hose. 6x7 Gallery Warsaw, is bringing the work of two Polish artists who are well-known in Europe, Tomasz Wysocki and Pawel Żak. 


More than a dozen talks will feature prominent curators, collectors, artists, and journalists including Susan Meiselas, Alicia Garza, Sheila Pree Bright, Teju Cole, Sarah Meister, Tina Barney, LaToya Ruby Frazier, Adam Weinberg, Edward Burtynsky, Keith Davis, and Zackary Drucker, among many others. For the first time the Show will present Photography Talking Back, a series of talks with photographers who are using their work to address issues such as immigration, racism, climate change, and gender inequality. A complete schedule of the AIPAD Talks is available at AIPADshow.com/Talks


The Photography Show will present three special exhibitions. A Time for Reflection, curated by Sir Elton John, will include thematic work selected from AIPAD member galleries. Work on view will be available for purchase, and a portion of sales will benefit The Sir Elton John Charitable Trust. Forever Young: Selections from the Joe Baio Collection of Photography, focusing on childhood and adolescence, will be exhibited publicly for the first time. All Power: Visual Legacies of the Black Panther Party, curated by Michelle Dunn Marsh, Executive Director and Curator at the Photographic Center Northwest, showcases contemporary black artists who have been informed or influenced by the Black Panther movement. More information on the Special Exhibitions at The Photography Show is available at AIPADshow.com/Exhibitors/Special-Exhibitions.


The second edition of the AIPAD Screening Room will present documentaries on photographers curated by award-winning filmmaker Mary Engel, Director, Orkin/Engel Film & Photo Archive, including films on Yousuf Karsh, Ruth Orkin, Gordon Parks, and W. Eugene Smith. A complete list of films and screening times is located at AIPADshow.com/Programs.


Celebrating the contribution of photography books to the evolving story of the medium of photography, Aperture will present daily in-person talks with photographers, writers, curators, and publishers. The schedule of PhotoBook Spotlight talks is available at AIPADshow.com/Programs


The AIPAD Award honors visionaries who have contributed to the field of photography, including artists, curators, and publishers. This year’s recipient of the second annual award is Keith F. Davis, Senior Curator of Photography, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO. The award will be presented during the vernissage on Wednesday, April 4 at 5:30 p.m. 


Pier 94, 711 12th Avenue at 55th Street, New York City


Wednesday, April 4

Vernissage Early Access Hours: 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Vernissage Public Hours: 5:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Thursday, April 5, 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Friday, April 6, 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, April 7, 12:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Sunday, April 8, 12:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.


Tickets and information are available at AIPADShow.com/Tickets. For further details, visit AIPADShow.com, email info@aipad.com, or call +1-202-367-1158.

Image: Reine Paradis, L’envol, from the series Jungle, 2015. © Reine Paradis, Courtesy of Galerie Catherine et André Hug, Paris


New York — At the 38th Annual PHOTOGRAPHY SHOW, presented by AIPAD, Throckmorton Fine Art will host a special exhibition by the widely published New York photographer Lynn Gilbert.

“Women: A Time Capsule of the American Feminist Landscape” is a limited-edition portfolio of iconic portraits of the women who transformed the American landscape in the second wave of feminism for women on the path to equality. 

Photographed by Lynn Gilbert in the years between 1976 and 1980 for Particular Passions: Talks with Women Who Shaped Our Times, the portfolio features twelve pioneering women of the 20th century from the arts and sciences, politics and law, mathematics and athletics, who blazed paths in traditionally male fields, opening doors for future generations of American women, and by example, women worldwide. 

Only twelve portfolios are being offered in this limited-edition. Each of the silver gelatin, selenium toned prints is 16 x 20, is signed by the artist, and mounted in a presentation box. Prints are by master printer John Delaney, who printed for Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, and Annie Leibovitz amongst others. Gilbert is contributing a portion of the sales to the ERA movement.

This new portfolio of twelve portraits comes from a body of work of forty-six women, which includes Bella Abzug, Julia Child, Joan Ganz Cooney, Betty Friedan, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Grace Murray Hopper, Lucy Jarvis, Billie Jean King, Louise Nevelson, Diana Vreeland, Gloria Steinem and Barbara Walters.

When PARTICULAR PASSIONS was published in 1981, it was the first time a book had shed light on women who were actively engaged in changing perceptions of what women can be, what they can accomplish, and how they go about achieving their goals.  The portrait of Louise Nevelson became an instant icon.  

Throckmorton Fine Art has shown Lynn Gilbert’s photographs for many years.  Spencer Throckmorton says, “We are thrilled that women of all ages are now being heard in the workplace and on the home front. We hope this portfolio, a visual representation of the pioneers of the women’s movement, will be a call to action for women today so that the ERA (the Equal Rights Amendment) will finally be passed and women will be recognized as equal under the law and in our constitution. Coinciding with Women’s History Month in March, on the heels of the record-setting 2017 Women’s March, the #MeToo movement, and resurgence of efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, we feel this show could not be more timely or valuable.”

Lynn Gilbert adds that, “These women were the most significant women in their disciplines when the photographs were taken. Culled at a time pre-internet, pre-feminism and before women were celebrated for their own value and accomplishments, these women opened doors for generations of women who followed and inspire today’s society to realize the full impact of their vision and efforts." 

Lynn Gilbert’s portraits are included in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C, The NY Historical Society, and the collections of Vassar and Yale.


New York - Throckmorton Fine Art will offer the first edition of photographic images from the 1967 RICHARD AVEDON MASTER CLASS during The Photography Show (AIPAD) in New York, April 4 - 8 at Pier 94.

The Master Class was created by Avedon and Marvin Israel at the Avedon Studio for up and coming promising photographers. Among the seven photographs offered for sale are pictures of luminaries including Diane Arbus, Hiro, Marvin Israel, Ben Fernandez, model Veruschka, and Richard Avedon.

Gideon Lewin, Avedon’s studio manager at the time, documented the evolution of the class, a forum to which students brought their personal work as well as assignments given during the course.  The purpose was to stimulate the participant’s senses, awareness, creativity, and personal style. It took place one night a week for about two months with various invited guests, personalities, photographers, art directors and writers. The assignments varied, from self-portraits and portraits of others to fashion stories and reportage.

Among the participating photographers were Chris Von Wangenheim, Deborah Turbeville, Alex Chatelain, Peter Hujar, and Otto Stupakoff.

Invited guests included Diane Arbus, Hiro, Ruth Ansel, Bruce Davidson, Lucas Samaras, Ben Fernandez, Richard Lindner, and Elaine May. 

The atmosphere was charged, with Marvin Israel playing devil’s advocate, controlling the sometimes heated, yet always constructive discussions. Richard Avedon amplified his thoughts, adding a critical element. Students were encouraged to bring in anything they found visually interesting and unique. Important photographer’s work was analyzed and discussed, while students were pressed to create their own styles of visual expression that was not an imitation or interpretation of other’s work.

Gideon Lewis created a ten-foot-square table covered in white paper around which everyone gathered and presented their work. Selected photographs were displayed on the walls for discussion. 

He said, “It was exciting to watch the table and the walls increasingly fill up with images while the white spaces slowly diminished. It was equally great to listen to the opinions of the guest critics, as Avedon and Marvin invited them into the fray. One of the big questions that needed to be addressed was the dilemma of how we as creative people could keep our individuality in the face of the proliferation of photography - how to preserve the difference between art and snapshots - which seems prescient in light of the popularity today of digital photography and smartphone cameras.

“My cameras on the ceiling and on my shoulder created a visual documentation of it all. Ben Fernandez asked at one point if the cameras had been placed on the ceiling to spy on the class. Avedon answered, “I don’t really know. This is Gideon’s assignment for the class.”

Auction Guide