Issue #182  8/5/2011
Second Benefit Auction For George Eastman House Scheduled For Oct. 3 At Metropolitan Pavilion, New York City

George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film is organizing its second benefit auction of photographic objects, prints, and books, to take place in New York City at the Metropolitan Pavilion at 7 p.m. Monday, October 3. The Metropolitan Pavilion is at 125 West 18th Street.

Denise Bethel, senior vice president and director of the photographs department at Sotheby's New York, will again volunteer her services as auctioneer, as she did for last year's inaugural benefit auction, which raised more than a half-million dollars in less than two hours for Eastman House.

Among the works donated to the auction by artists, dealers, and collectors are photographs by Shelby Lee Adams, Richard Avedon, Roger Ballen, Carl Chiarenza, Mark Cohen, Barbara Crane, Walker Evans, Ralph Gibson, Robert Heinecken, Gertrude Käsebier, Andre Kertész, Robert Mapplethorpe, Steve McCurry, Barbara Morgan, Edweard Muybridge, Lori Nix, Victor Schrager, Cindy Sherman, Alec Soth, Lisa Holden, George Tice, Arthur Tress, Mitch Dobrowner, Brian Ulrich, Alex Webb, William Wegman, Michael Manheim and Jack Welpott. All items to be auctioned are donations; none are from the Eastman House collections.

The George Eastman House 2011 Benefit Auction will feature a two-day preview of the photographs, enhanced by live artist conversations moderated by Dr. Anthony Bannon, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director at George Eastman House. The conversations will feature Vito Acconci, Douglas Crimp, Arno Minkkinen, and Arthur Tress. They will take place on site at Metropolitan Pavilion between 1:30-4:30 p.m. Sunday, October 2, and between noon-1 p.m. on Monday, October 3.

The conversations are free and open to the public, as are the live auction and auction previews. Previews are 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, with a walk-through at 10:30 a.m. Monday. The live auction on Monday, October 3 will be preceded by a reception from 5-7 p.m. An online selection also will be available from September 26-October 7, which is organized again this year by iGavelAuctions.com.

The images feature a wide range of subjects, including iconic athletic figures such as John MacEnroe in action at the 1980 Wimbledon match, and the Kentucky thoroughbred racing legend Secretariat; artistic figures such as Frida Kahlo by Nickolas Muray and a street photograph by Bruce Weber featuring Richard Avedon in the act of making a photograph; social documentary topics, including an image of a child's dress entangled in a border fence between Israel and Egypt by Natan Dvir; plus two aerial images made by Pictometry on or around Sept. 11, 2011 of the Ground Zero site and the Statue of Liberty. Historic works will again be featured, by way of a photogravure by Frank Eugene, an ornithological study platinum print by American Photo Secessionist George H. Seeley, and several other examples.

According to iGavelAuctions.com, the 2010 online lots garnered more than 1,700 bids from an international audience of collectors. Coupled with the online component, the inaugural auction ultimately raised $650,000, making it the largest fundraiser in the museum's 64-year history. More than 300 people attended the 2010 live auction at Sotheby's. It was "the best attended auction of the season," according to Alex Novak of iPhotoCenral.com. The 2010 Eastman House Benefit Auction at Sotheby's New York was the auction house's largest charity auction in history.

"This was by far one of the best charity auctions ever presented," said Lark Mason, president and founder of iGavelAuctions.com and a retired vice president with Sotheby's. "George Eastman House's online auction was perfectly blended with the live auction component, collectively presented as a true auction exhibition at Sotheby's and with each photograph displayed with equal exposure and weight. And this is what garnered the international attention with bidders from the entire sphere of the photography world, including the United States, Europe and Asia, as they were all made aware of this sale and participated."

The challenge of the recession has required Eastman House to employ new fiscal solutions, such as this auction. Proceeds from the benefit auction help the Eastman House--the world's oldest museum of photography--maintain its extensive collections of photographs, camera technology, motion pictures and related literature, totaling more than four million objects. Eastman House also serves as an educational institution and center of preservation, offering degree-granting graduate programs in photographic and motion-picture film preservation on the site of the National Historic Landmark house, gardens, and museum.

As museums look for creative ways to raise funds, what is so impressive about this benefit is summed up by Eastman House's Anthony Bannon: "For more than 60 years George Eastman House has showcased and supported photography, and now, for this auction, we turned to the photography world to help the museum. We are overwhelmed by how enthusiastically all have embraced this effort."

To receive updates or an auction catalog, please email your contact information to kbaldwin@geh.org or call 1-585-271-3361, ext. 293. Information about the venue is available at http://www.metropolitanevents.com .

In addition to the generous donors of objects to the auction, sponsors of the George Eastman House Benefit Auction 2011 include iGavelAuctions.com, Sotheby's New York, Broadcliff Capital Partners and Kodak, with additional support from Photo District News, photograph, and Hanging Around Frame & Art.