Doyle’s June 14 Auction Traces the History of Photography

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Imogen Cunningham, Magnolia Blossom, 1925. Est. $10,000-15,000.

On Thursday, June 14 at 10am, Doyle will hold an auction of Photographs. The sale will offer 19th century photography, including a collection of daguerreotypes, as well as photographs by Curtis, Negré. Durandelle and others. 20th century examples feature work by many major figures, among them Berenice Abbott, Edward Steichen, Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Stieglitz, Aaron Siskind, Ellen Auerbach, Paul Caponigro and Harry Callahan. Contemporary photography offers work by such artists as Robert Mapplethorpe, Nan Goldin, Bert Stern, Hiroshi Sugimoto and Peter Beard.

Just the mention of the name Ansel Adams (1902-1984) brings to mind expansive vistas of the American west, the meeting of dramatic skies, sheer mountains and glistening rivers. An acknowledged darkroom master, his spellbinding images are best viewed as intended by the artist, in the large format gelatin silver photographs that he printed himself and signed gently in pencil on the mounts below. From 1962 is his arresting photograph of Evening Clouds and Pool, East Side of the Sierra from the Owens Valley, California, deaccessioned from The College of New Rochelle (est. $12,000-18,000).

A 1926 photograph by Edward Steichen (1879-1973) captures Brancusi’s Endless Column in Steichen’s garden at Voulagis, France. The photographer and sculptor were close friends, having met at Rodin’s studio in 1907. This twenty-four foot sculpture was carved from a tree on the grounds. The sculpture was conceived as site-specific, so this photograph, beyond its importance as a Steichen work, is a significant piece of art documentation (est. $10,000-15,000).

Imogen Cunningham’s 1925 Magnolia Blossom was recognized as an innovative work early on, chosen as it was for the seminal Modernist Internationale Ausstellung des Deutschen Werkbunds Film und Foto held at the Städtische Ausstellungshallen in 1929, an exhibition which helped define what László Moholy-Nagy termed “New Vision” photography. Cunningham has transformed the blossom into a near-abstract study of light, shade and form, imbued with a quiet luminosity (est. $10,000-15,000).

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