Issue #180  3/14/2011
E-Photo Newsletter Names Its List of The Most Influential Photography Sources in 2010-2011

By Alex Novak

These are mostly my personal choices for this past year, although I have been asking others for their choices/feedback by email and on the Vintage Photography group on LinkedIn, etc. By the way, please feel free to join this group and its active discussions at: http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Vintage-Photography-3797771?goback=.gmp_3797771 , although you will have to join LinkedIn first.

Undoubtedly there will be disagreements with many of my choices (after all, these are admittedly very subjective), but I sincerely think that these are some of the most influential in their given category. "Best" is a more difficult and subjective decision and is also very situational; in other words, for example, many dealers could have wonderful pieces in these categories but are not listed as most influential in them. Other galleries and dealers may also be excellent sources, but because their inventory and interests are more evenly spread out, they did not make our more specific lists. Finally, other factors besides the quality of work offered were factored into the decision, including publications, lectures, leadership, availability/activity for this period, programs, etc.

Many named for their category are clearly the cream of the crop in a general way--at least over the last 12 months. Some other sources that are not cited may have had stronger records in the past, or may have stronger ones in the future. One editorial disclosure: I own Vintage Works, Ltd., which I have named--legitimately, I feel--below in three categories. We list at most shows as Contemporary Works/Vintage Works.

I was tempted to do a "worst" list, considering some of the photography shows, etc. that I've seen recently, but decided to spare the offenders. But just an aside to certain French curators: don't hang lots of tiny photos right next to each other and then give visitors a plastic sheet as a magnifying glass so that they can block other viewers from seeing the work--if that were even possible in the near pitch blackness and overcrowded conditions.

I'm sure I will get a lot of additions, opinions, ideas, critiques and responses to this list--both negative and positive. Consider that I am stirring the pot, so to speak, to get people and institutions thinking about striving to get better, including those both on and off the list. Certainly send me your email feedback to info@iphotocentral.com , and I will add it to the article. Please check those responses/discussions out at the I Photo Central news and archives section at:

http://www.iphotocentral.com/news/article_view.php/190/180/1123 .

International locations are noted. Other sources are based in the United States unless otherwise noted. I skipped a European/International curator selection only because my knowledge is somewhat limited in this area, although I know some very good ones. I expect we'll restructure this list and add that category next year, as well as changing up the selection process a bit.


19th-Century Gallery/Dealer

Hans P. Kraus, Jr., Inc.

Also Robert Hershkowitz, Ltd. (London and Sussex), Daniel Blau Photography (Berlin and London), Alain Paviot (Paris), Charles Isaacs, Serge Plantureux (Paris), Vintage Works, Ltd., Lee Gallery and Marc Pagneux (Chanteloup, France)

Surrealism and Experimental Photography

Galerie 1900-2000 (Paris) and Ubu Gallery (New York and Berlin)

American 20th-Century Modernism and Between-the-Wars Photography

Howard Greenberg Gallery and Stephen Daiter Gallery

Also Paul Hertzmann, Inc., Lee Gallery and Weston Gallery

American Mid-Century (1940s-1970s) Photography

Etherton Gallery, Fraenkel Gallery, Pace/MacGill and Stephen Daiter Gallery

Also Silverstein Gallery, Robert Mann Gallery, Robert Koch Gallery and Howard Greenberg Gallery

European 20th-Century Photography

Howard Greenberg Gallery, Kicken Berlin, Galerie Johannes Faber and Vintage Works, Ltd.

Also Alain Paviot (Paris), Robert Koch Gallery, Gitterman Gallery, Edwynn Houk, Michael Hoppen (London) and Galerie Priska Pasquer (Cologne)

Contemporary Photography Gallery

Fraenkel Gallery, Pace/MacGill and Weinstein Gallery

Also Rose Gallery, Bonni Benrubi, Nicholas Metivier Gallery (Toronto), Camera Work (Berlin), HackelBury Fine Art Ltd. (London), Hamiltons Gallery (London), Flowers (New York and London) and Edwynn Houk (New York and Zurich)

Cutting-Edge Contemporary Photography Gallery

Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

Also Catherine Edelman Gallery


Monroe Gallery

American Western Photography

Andrew Smith Gallery

Fashion Photography

Staley+Wise Gallery and Camera Work (Berlin)


William L. Schaeffer

Also Dennis Waters, Mark Koenigsberg, Vintage Works, Ltd., Charles Isaacs, Michael Lehr, Serge Plantureux (Paris), Frederic Hoch (Offwiller, France), Greg French and Bruno Tartarin (Paris)

Vernacular/Snap Shots

Barbara Levine, Richard Hart and Stacy Waldman

Also Fabien Breuvart (Paris), Gargantua Photos/Steve Bannos, Joel Rotenberg, Wolfram Harmuth (Berlin) and Pixidiom/Norm Kulkin

The next two categories have changed incredibly over the last few years, with many physical bookstores going private or retiring, such as Dawson Books (now a private dealer), and other photography dealers and galleries dabbling in high-end photography books.

Photo Bookstore

Arcana Books, Harper's Books/Harper Levine, Schaden.com (Cologne) and Chambre Claire (Paris)

Also Photo-Eye, Tristan Schwilden (Brussels) and Lead Apron

Photo Book Private Dealer

Dawson Books, Jeff Hersch, Andrew Cahen, and Charles Woods III

Also Steven Daiter Gallery, Paul Hertzmann, Inc. and Fred Pajerski


AIPAD's New York Photography Show

Neither Paris Photo nor Photo LA are currently even close in top galleries/dealers and important material on offer. Both have faded considerably in quality over the last few years, while AIPAD has come back from its financial problems very successfully. We will have to see if the other shows can come back, especially with Paris Photo getting new top management and a new venue recently (see the last newsletter). While not strictly speaking photography shows, watch out for the Armory Show in NYC (March), Art Week in Miami (December), Art Basel (June) and TEFAF at Maastricht (March), especially if you are interested in better contemporary and 20th-century modernism. These events often have as many dealers in photography and at a higher level than many photography-specific fairs, although you have to go to many more locations to see the dealers and their work.


Binoche Auctions, Paris, June 2010


Antwerp Museum of Photography, Antwerp, Belgium


New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and the J. Paul Getty Museum


Fotografiska, Stockholm, Sweden


Sarah Greenough, National Gallery of Art; Malcolm Daniels, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Anne Tucker, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Keith Davis, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art; and Sandra Phillips, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris: Primitifs de la photographie: Le calotype en France, 1843-1860


Hans P. Kraus, Jr., Inc. for its William Henry Fox Talbot exhibition at the 2010 Winter Antiques Fair


--"Czech Photography of the 20th Century" by Vladimir Birgus and Jan Mlcoch

--"Primitifs de la photographie: Le calotype en France, 1843-1860" by Sylvie Aubenas and Paul-Louis Roubert


--"About Sixty French Calotypes" by Robert Hershkowitz, Ltd.

-- Hippolyte Bayard: Photography and the Spirit--A Collection of Photographs from 1839-1849 by Daniel Blau Photography

--Teachers of the New Bauhaus by Stephen Daiter Gallery


Hans P. Kraus, Jr., Inc.

Novak has over 47 years experience in the photography-collecting arena. He is a long-time member and formally board member of the Daguerreian Society, and, when it was still functioning, he was a member of the American Photographic Historical Society (APHS). He organized the 2016 19th-century Photography Show and Conference for the Daguerreian Society. He is also a long-time member of the Association of International Photography Art Dealers, or AIPAD. Novak has been a member of the board of the nonprofit Photo Review, which publishes both the Photo Review and the Photograph Collector, and is currently on the Photo Review's advisory board. He was a founding member of the Getty Museum Photography Council. He is author of French 19th-Century Master Photographers: Life into Art.

Novak has had photography articles and columns published in several newspapers, the American Photographic Historical Society newsletter, the Photograph Collector and the Daguerreian Society newsletter. He writes and publishes the E-Photo Newsletter, the largest circulation newsletter in the field. Novak is also president and owner of Contemporary Works/Vintage Works, a private photography dealer, which sells by appointment and has sold at exhibit shows, such as AIPAD New York and Miami, Art Chicago, Classic Photography LA, Photo LA, Paris Photo, The 19th-century Photography Show, Art Miami, etc.