Sotheby’s October 5th Photographs auction in New York features a varied range of material from the 19th to 21st centuries. Two landmark documents in the history of photographic literature will be offered—an early copy of Gardner’s Sketchbook of the War, and a complete set of Alfred Stieglitz’s photographic quarterly, Camera Work. Modernist innovator Pierre Dubreuil’s mastery of the medium is evident in two of his best-known images: Spectacles and The First Round. A dramatic, twice-signed mural of Ansel Adams’s famed Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, and a mural of Leaves, Mt. Rainier National Park are featured, along with other Adams photographs. A rare lifetime print of Diane Arbus’s Viva, the Warhol superstar, was originally illustrated in an early issue of New York, nearly causing the magazine’s demise. A massive print of Peter Beard’s Maureen Gallagher and Late-Night Feeder presents a dazzling array of color drawing and collage elements.
American modernism is represented by Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Paul Outerbridge, and Paul Strand. The auction also includes a rare group of images from Minor White’s Sequence 15, one of his most important works. Images by Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, and Horst P. Horst show how each changed the language of modern fashion photography. Two mammoth-plate views of Yosemite by Carleton Watkins, as well as a rare Imperial-sized portrait of Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Gardner, show the breadth of photographic ambition in the 19th century. Detailed information on these photographs, and many others, can be found within the pages of our catalogue or at sothebys.com.