Issue #174  9/14/2010
Latest Be-hold Auction Focuses On 20th-Century American Photographs

The Be-hold 55 catalogue/internet auction on September 30th continues the expansion of its offerings of photographs from the 20th century.

This auction is especially strong in American photographs from the 1950s-1980s. There are two important photographs by Aaron Siskind, printed 1960s, originally acquired directly from Siskind. There are notable photographs by Wynn Bullock, Andre Kertesz, Edward Steichen, Brett Weston, Ralph Eugene Meatyard, Lucien Clergue, Jack Welpott, Judy Dater, Robert Heinecken, and Andreas Feininger--many acquired directly from the artists or with other good provenance.

Portraits include a beautiful large later-printed portrait of Dorothea Lange by Rondal Partridge, as well as portraits of William Faulkner and the poet Paul Eluard by Cartier-Bresson, and of Georgia O'Keeffe by Karsh.

Art photographs from earlier in the century include a 1904 platinum print by E. S. Crutis, a 1908 study of a model by the Art-nouveau painter Alfons Mucha, a circa 1970 print of a celebrated 1920s portrait by August Sander, a lovely study of the nude child Neil Weston in an abstract space by Edward Weston, probably printed by Cole in the 1950s, and a brilliant color-carbro photograph of "Bojangles" by Harry Warnecke. A beautiful 1927 photograph by Tina Modotti of a Diego Rivera mural has a description of the mural by Modotti on the verso. A 1930 light abstraction by Edward Quigley is included.

From an exhibition at the French Cultural Agency in New York City in the 1950s dealing with Jean Cocteau, there are a number of photographs, many signed by Boris Lipnitzki, or printed by him for the exhibition. They include a portrait by Man Ray of Cocteau in the role of Heurtebise from the play "Orphée."

There continues to be a strong presentation of documentary and press photographs. A 1937 "Resettlement Administration" photograph by Arthur Rothstein shows two black boys from Gee's bend, AL. There are later-printed photographs of a 1935 Harlem scene by Aaron Siskind, and two 1941 subjects by Lou Stoumen. Vintage WWII photographs by Robert Capa and Eugene Smith are included. There are a number of important Civil Rights photographs by Flip Schulke, and a group dealing with Martin Luther King's funeral, probably by Moneta Sleet, Jr. A number of press photographs of China are by Marc Riboud.

19th-Century images include the famous Alexander Gardner photograph of "Home of a Rebel Sharpshooter" on an "Incidents of War" mount. A very rare 1878 albumen print by Muybridge of the horse Abe Edgington is on the original blue paper backing with French pen inscription and label. It was one of the images offered for sale in Paris around the time Muybridge's motion experiments were first announced in Europe. A group of 33 portraits of French painters on carte-de-visite mounts by Mulnier include many rare subjects.

The material is presented on the http://www.be-hold.com website, along with simple procedures to register and to leave bids, as well as to bid on line as the auction proceeds on September 30th. There is also a form to subscribe to the printed catalogue that has a new improved format. The printed catalogue is well worth the modest subscription fee of three issues for $50 in North America (U.S. and Canada) and $70 internationally.

There will be an exhibition of all the material from September 24-30 at the Salmagundi Club at 47 Fifth Avenue in NYC. This will be accompanied by an exhibit of recent photographs by Claudia Kunin from "3D Family Ghost Stories" and "3D Theoretical Ghost Stories," with a reception at 2:00 p.m. Sunday September 26th and a talk by Kunin at 3:00. See the website for further details or contact Larry Gottheim at 1-914-423-5806 or behold@be-hold.com .