Sotheby’s October 2nd Photographs auction in New York delivers a range of imagery from the 19th to 21st centuries. Leading the sale is a rare palladium print of Alfred Stieglitz’s Modernist nude study of Georgia O’Keeffe. Works by László Moholy-Nagy, Alexander Rodchenko, Constantin Brancusi, André Kertész, and Pierre Dubreuil show other ways in which the Modernist aesthetic was brought to bear on photography. An eclectic selection of cased images from the 1840s to the present day is available, from an anonymous tintype of Banjo and Fiddle Players to a contemporary daguerreotype of Butterflies by Adam Fuss. The auction includes five murals of some of Ansel Adams’s best-known images. Classic fashion and photojournalism are well-represented by Richard Avedon’s Avedon/Paris portfolio, and portraits by Irving Penn, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Philippe Halsman, and Steve McCurry. Nature, red in tooth and claw, is the subject of Peter Beard’s embellished and collaged works, as well as large-format prints by Nick Brandt. Contemporary works by Robert Rauschenberg, Bernd and Hilla Becher, and Elger Esser, among others are also included.
Our October sale of Photographs totaled a robust $5 million, showing solid strength in the market for a diverse range of material. We are pleased to have achieved the top price of this week’s Photographs sales with Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portrait-Torso by Alfred Stieglitz which exceeded the high estimate to sell for $557,000, in addition to seeing high prices for László Moholy-Nagy, Ansel Adams, Francesca Woodman, and Alexander Rodchenko, among others.