45TH BE-HOLD CATALOG/INTERNET AUCTION WILL END JUNE 3RD; SPRING SALE ON I PHOTO CENTRAL CONTINUES; NEW BOOKS AND CATALOGUES
45TH BE-HOLD CATALOG/INTERNET
AUCTION WILL END JUNE 3RD
Larry Gottheim's 45th Be-hold catalog/internet auction will end June 3rd. His recent affiliation with iCollector and eBay Live has encouraged an expanded range of offerings, particularly in 20th-century material, so the catalog more fully reflects the range of photographic imagery from daguerreotypes to the 1980s.
The auction provides an excellent opportunity to purchase well-selected, fully documented authentic material priced at $5,000 and well under.
There are 31 lots of daguerreotypes and ambrotypes, including an iconic ambrotype self-portrait of a photographer with his daguerreotype camera, right at the 1850s transition between these processes. A daguerreotype of a gentleman posed on the roof of what might be a college, and a handsome full-plate ambrotype of a man, are possible self-portraits. There are groups of carte-de-visites, from a descendant's collection, of self-portraits of the daguerreotypist and early photographer C. D. Fredricks. Other photographic-related material includes a charming cabinet card of two women photographing two other women doing a dance, a complex self-portrait by the Seattle photographer La Roche at the edge of a crevasse in an Alaskan glacier, and a great stereo view, a "Winter View from my Window" by Carl Meinerth, daguerreotypist and photographer from Newburyport, MA. Another important self-referential stereo view is Muybridge's "Moonlight Effect from Rincon Hill." There is also a mysterious abstract Bauhaus-like shadow configuration of a photographer and camera.
Portraits of notable personages include an 1860 carte-de-visite of Lincoln, and an 1862 cdv of Kit Carson with Colonel Perrin. There are several portraits of important literary figures, including a previously unknown cabinet card of Walt Whitman, as well as a fine one by Sarony of Whitman and one of Oscar Wilde. A portrait of Dylan Thomas by Bill Brandt is a vintage 1941 print; and a 1965 portrait of Samuel Beckett by Gisele Freund was printed about a decade later.
There is a great deal of material pertaining to the American Indian, historical as well as pictorial. A small but brilliant ambrotype, possibly by Whitney or Upton, shows a mixed blood Minnesota Ojibwa sporting snow goggles. There are cabinet and boudoir cards of Indian subjects by a number of photographers whose names begin with "B"--Barry, Bliss, Bonine, Buehman, as well as one by C. R. Savage. Several fine platinum print portraits by F. A. Rinehart are followed by a beautiful hand-colored one by Heyn. There are two large and one small orotones in their original frames by E. S. Curtis. Other Indian subjects are by Carl Moon and Richard Throssel, who was the only pictorialist who was part-Indian (Crow.)
Artistic pictorialist photography includes by works by Von Gloeden (three large prints that do not rely on his typical erotic subject matter), Raymond Hanson, Eleanor Park Custis, Nikolas Muray and Doris Ulmann. Artistic documentary photographs are represented by carefully selected works by Hugo Brehme, Lewis Hine, Margaret Bourke-White, Gordon Coster, Morris Engel, Todd Webb, Jerome Liebling and Larry Fink. There are also works by James Van der Zee, Ilse Bing, Peter Hujar, John Pfahl, Robert Rauschenberg, Linda McCartney and others.
Material can be previewed by appointment, and in New York City on May 24-26, with a reception on May 24th from 5-8 pm at the Affinia 50 Hotel, 155 E. 50th St. at 3rd Ave. The bidding, via eBay Live, should bring the excitement of a live auction to the proceedings. Information about the preview, catalog subscription, scans of the material and bidding instructions can be found at http://www.be-hold.com
, which will be updated in mid-May with the new catalogue. Print versions of the catalogues and results reports can be ordered by subscription for $50 per three copies shipped to North America, or $70 international. Single sample copies can be purchased for $20 each, including the results report. To contact Larry Gottheim, call 1-914-423-5806 or email him at email@example.com
ITINERARY FOR EUROPE AND UK
FOR ALEX NOVAK, VINTAGE WORKS
As many of you know, I will bid and preview for clients for a fee of 5% of the hammer price against a minimum of $250. If there is something that you would like me to look at and evaluate for you at the London or Paris auctions, please contact me or my Assistant Director Marthe Smith, who can be contacted at our normal numbers. Marthe will be in most days of the week, except Tuesdays and weekends.
For those of you who might need to reach me directly during my Spring Europe/UK trip, please use the following information:
May 8th in the air to Paris.
May 9-14, Paris. Phones: (cell) 011-33-698-92-50-18 and (apartment) 011-33 142-47-06-92. Try apartment first when calling. Then call me on cell if you can't reach me at apartment. (Same in London, except the cell phone may not work at all in London.
May 14-19 London. Apartment phone is 011-44-207-221-3973.
I will have a table at the London Photograph Fair at the Bonnington Hotel on May 15th, but I will not be exhibiting (although attending) at photo-london.
May 20-22 London. Apartment phone is 011-44-207-243-0397. This is a different apartment (at the same address) and a different phone.
May 22-June 7, Paris. Phones: (cell) 011-33-698-92-50-18 and (apartment) 011-33 142-47-06-92. Again, try the apartment first when calling. Then call me on cell if you can't reach me at apartment.
I will be flying back on June 8th.
My email that I can actually get while in Europe will be firstname.lastname@example.org
. I may or may not be able to pick up my email in a timely (or if ever) fashion, so try to rely on the phone instead.
SPECIAL SPRING SALE CONTINUES
ON I PHOTO CENTRAL WEBSITE
You can now see a Special Spring Clearance sale on I Photo Central brought to you by the I Photo Central photography dealers. These items are available at special sale prices (from 20% to over 60% off the regular list price) for only a limited time, from now until only June 20th. Many of the items regular list prices were reduced earlier by over 20%, so the actual net reductions may be well over 40% to 80% in many instances. These are all final prices, so no other discounts apply. Shipping/insurance may also be added. After June 20th prices will revert on these items to the original list price.
There are some great deals, so check them out soon at: http://www.iphotocentral.com/sale/sale.php
If you want to do further sorts on the sale list, you can go to the Search Images page at http://www.iphotocentral.com/search/search.php
and put SpecialSpringSale2 into the key word field. Then you can also use the other search fields, such as price range, country, etc. When you have all your choices made, simply hit the Search button (not the Show All Images button). When you put in the key word, you must have the capital letters in properly and no space between the words or the number "2". Also make sure you do not have any extra space after the key word. This way if you are bargain hunting, you can put in a range from $1 to $500, or if you want to focus on the top end, just put in a range from $1,000 (or $2,500 or $5,000) to No Limit.
NEW PHOTOGRAPHY BOOK AND CATALOG
By Matt Damsker
THE FINE ART OF FAMILY. PHOTOGRAPHS BY MONICA RICH KOSANN.
2004. Published by MRK Fine Arts LLC, P.O. Box 478, New Canaan, CT 06840. Information: www.mrkphoto.com. Produced by Marquand Books, Seattle, Washington; $34; 64 pages; ISBN No. 0-9744202-0-4.
This self-published collection of black-and-white photos by New England-based photographer Monica Rich Kosann might seem like a grouping of high-grade Kodak moments if Kosann weren't so obviously attentive to the details of tone and composition that make images more than snapshots. Beyond that, she has a well-honed eye for capturing both the casual and most expressive posturings of children and parents as they do nothing much.
Indeed, privileged leisure may not be the theme here, but Kosann's family-friend subjects--the mostly white upper-middle classes of New Canaan, Connecticut, and thereabouts--are clearly among the most enfranchised people around. The exception is a shot of a young black boy ("Under the Bridge") that occupies the book's center spread like some line of demarcation between Wasp entitlement and urban reality. Seen in close-up from the shoulders up, the boy is positioned in the far-left corner of the frame, with a blurred cityscape backgrounding his somewhat intimidated expression. As a social statement, the photo is compassionate, but in the context of this book, it unfortunately smacks of noblesse oblige.
Out of that context, though, it is a compelling enough image, and the placement of the subject to the far side of the frame suggests a disturbing social distance from the mainstream. Kosann intends this photo to stop us and make us think, midway through all the comforting images of comfortable life. Fair enough, though perhaps it is out of place in a concept that celebrates, mainly, "The Fine Art of Family." Of course, solitary images of children abound, including a portrait of another black child, Lily, who regards us intensely and confidently amidst some lush backyard foliage.
Mainly, though, these are family portraits--of siblings clustered with their parents, their facial resemblances scanning like DNA bar codes; of kids frolicking around the swimming pool, or playing with pets on Adirondack chairs; of golden mothers with their plumply precious babies; of vital dads, crisply elegant matriarchs, and the freshest young faces. The aura of New England homogeneity is strong, as Kosann captures a world where cultural diversity exists primarily on the op-ed pages of the Times. Nonetheless, it is a real world.
BOB NATKIN, PHOTOGRAPHER.
Catalogue published by the Stephen Daiter Gallery, 311 W. Superior St./404, Chicago, Ill. 60610; 48 pages; phone: 1-312-787-335-; www.stephendaitergallery.com.
One of Chicago's most notable homegrown photographers, Bob Natkin (1919-1996) clearly deserved the renewed focus of last year's retrospective of his work at the Stephen Daiter Gallery. Largely self-taught, Natkin was an archetypal urban imagist of the post-World War II era, beginning as an amateur nature photographer, maturing as an Air Force gunner photographer during the war, and returning to civilian life determined to make a living taking pictures.
He did well, quickly progressing from wedding and portrait photography to gritty photojournalism, thanks to commissions that included a 1948 Mexican Tourist Bureau journey intended to promote travel to Mexico. It is hard to say how well his photos functioned on that count, because they explore the sun-baked details of Mexican life with a journalist's cool eye, rarely romanticizing their subjects. Thus, images of a child and an old woman gazing enigmatically in a dusty courtyard in Cuilapan, or of melancholy faces glimpsed in affecting close up, or of tribal Oaxacan dancers in feathered costumes, amount to sensitive reportage more so than promotional shots.
Obviously, Natkin sought to capture needle-sharp detail and documentary realism in his black-and-white images, most of them candids shot in available-light. The photos of peasant Mexicans waiting patiently at a bus station, or the put-upon worker toting crates in Mexico City, his hawk-like facial features seizing the lens in wary surprise, are works that convey, time, place, and texture with great skill and confidence. Natkin brought that skill and compassion to his Chicago Housing Authority shots of 1948-1953, detailing the human dignity that flourished against all odds in the slum housing of the inner city. Shots of a young boy standing defiantly against a ravaged staircase wall, or of a mother, undefeated, raising her two children in a crowded yet clean room, are powerful and brave photographs.
So are the photos taken at the city's Narcotics Court in the early 1950s, chronicling the shame, fear, and humanity of a young woman from her arrest through her trial and imprisonment for a drug violation. Natkin's photos tell their stories with the directness and punch of a Hemingway, and even when he covers big events, such as the Republican National Convention of 1952, he captures his subjects intimately, yet never seems to violate them. Convention delegates are discovered in moments of repose, or boredom, or in well-focused moments of dutiful celebration, and we can sense both the weariness and optimism of that post-war era.
Natkin's pop-cultural images from the '50s are more curiosities than anything else, especially his shots of such early TV stars as Kukla, Fran and Ollie, or Dave Garroway. But an image of the great boxer Ezzard Charles, seen inside the ring, his fist-weathered face an image of black strength and challenge, is a classic. And a shot of women in fur coats and high heels standing outside the Marshall Field department store is a hymn to Chicago prosperity. As this catalogue reveals, in an essay by Tim Samuelson of Chicago's cultural affairs department, Natkin led an interesting, freewheeling life, turning away from photography for 15 years to earn a living in the construction business. But when he took up the camera again, as the Chicago Bulls' official lensman, or to document the inner city once again, or to contribute to such magazines as Ebony and Sepia, he hadn't lost his touch.
(Matt Damsker is an old friend who used to work for me as Editor-in-Chief on a magazine for which I was publisher. He has had extensive writing experience, including high-profile stints at the L.A. Times and Hartford Courant newspapers, during which he wrote extensively on the visual arts and on photography.)
(Book publishers, authors and photography galleries/dealers may send review copies to us at: I Photo Central, 258 Inverness Circle, Chalfont, PA 18914. We do not guarantee that we will review all books or catalogues that we receive.)