Issue #238  1/12/2018
Skinner's Prints and Photographs Auction Set for Boston on January 26th
James Van Der Zee, Harlem
James Van Der Zee, Harlem

On Friday, January 26, 2018, Skinner will present its Winter Prints & Photographs auction (3072B) in Boston, beginning at 10 am EST. The selection of fine photographs on offer features a range of 19th- through 20th-century works by such masters as John Beasley Greene, Alfred Stieglitz, Ansel Adams, Robert Frank, James Van Der Zee, and others.

Among the highlights are a group of portfolios by artists including Alvin Langdon Coburn (lot 130, $800-1,200), Victor Keppler (lot 133, $600-800), Karl Blossfeldt (lot 134, $3,000-5,000), Nickolas Muray (lot 135, $500-700), Paul Strand (lot 137, $1,500-2,500), Josef Breitenbach (lot 138, $2,000-3,000) and Robert Rauschenberg (lot 139, $8,000-12,000). The prints in each portfolio were made by or under the photographer’s supervision or posthumously from the original negatives. Of special interest is Eighteen Photographs by James Van Der Zee (lot 131, $12,000-18,000), which includes images made between 1905 and 1938 in Van Der Zee’s hometown of Lenox, MA, and in Harlem where he operated the Guarantee Photo Studio from the late 1910s to the mid-1940s, creating a dynamic portrait of African-American life and culture.

Robert Frank
Robert Frank

Also on offer are three lots by Minor White, one of the masters of photographic modernism. White photographed subjects not only for what they represented but also for what they suggested, making images rich with symbolic and metaphorical allusions. He often sequenced his images to underscore the meditative possibilities of reading photographs as a path to spiritual self-knowledge, and the works on offer represent three different sequences: Song Without Words (lot 105, $2,000-3,000), Sound of One Hand (lot 110, $1,000-1,500) and Steely the Barb of Infinity (lot 111, $1,000-1,500).

The sale features a number of works by important 20th century photographers, including a circa 1926 factory view by Albert Renger-Patzsch (lot 91, $2,000-3,000); Margaret Bourke-White’s view of the U.S.S. Airship Akron from 1931 (lot 96, $2,000-4,000); Wright Morris’s 1939 image of Faulkner Country, Near Oxford, MS (lot 100, $1,200-1,800); an early portrait by Diane Arbus from about 1943-44 (lot 102, $5,000-7,000); two works by noted Swiss photographer Robert Frank (lots 108 and 109, $2,000-3,000 each); and a selection of landscapes and abstractions by Brett Weston (lots 112-115, $1,000-1,500 each).

Additional photographers represented include: Berenice Abbott, Alexander Alland, Tom Baril, Brassaï, Harry Callahan, William Clift, George Daniell, Peter Henry Emerson, Franco Fontana, Günther Förg, Samuel Gottscho, Ernst Haas, Chip Hooper, Peter Hutchinson, Heinrich Kühn, Koichiro Kurita, Will McBride, Arnold Newman, Edward W. Quigley, Ralph Steiner, Karl Struss, Max Yavno and Weegee.

The auction preview will take place at 63 Park Plaza, Boston, with viewing times as follows:
Wednesday, January 24: 12pm-5pm
Thursday, January 25: 12pm-8pm

For more information regarding the auction, please contact Michelle Lamunière, Fine Photographs Specialist, at 1-508-970-3264 or photographs@skinnerinc.com. The auction can also be viewed online at: http://www.skinnerinc.com/auctions/fine-photographs-3072b/. To order a printed catalogue, please email subscriptions@skinnerinc.com, or call 1-508-970-3240.