Details & Cataloguing

Harry K. Shigeta (1887-1963) and George Wright

a group of 7 photographs, comprising 'Pattern,' 'Motor Rythm [sic],' 'Evening,' 'Medinah,' 'Drop Forge,' 'Rush St.' and 'Drying Drums in Paper Mill', each mounted, double-mounted, or accompanied by its original mount, each signed and titled by one of the photographers in pencil and with their studio label on the mount, each with the Museum collection stamp, label, and accession numbers in an unidentified hand in pencil on the reverse, circa 1930-35 (7)



Each approximately 10 by 13 in. (25.4 by 33 cm.) or the reverse
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Gift of the photographers, 1935


Chicago, Agfa-Ansco Corporation Photographic Salon, 1934 Century of Progress

These prints of 'Pattern,' Rush St.,' and 'Drying Drums in Paper Mill':

Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Imagination to Image, April - September 1999; and traveling thereafter to The Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Milwaukee, September - December  2000;  and The Montclair, New Jersey, Art Museum, January - April 2001

Catalogue Note

Harry Shigeta and George Wright were practicing pictorialists when they met at Chicago’s Fort Dearborn Camera Club, which was established in 1924 and was an important gathering place for photographers.

In 1930 Shigeta and Wright opened a photographic studio specializing in food photography.  Shigeta-Wright studio counted Kraft Foods and Armour among their Chicago-based clients and was known for its innovation and experimentation with photographic technique.  The studio was also an early practitioner of color photography and commercial filmmaking. 

Beginning in the 1920s, professional photographers submitted their photographs to pictorialist salons, when the line between commercial and pictorial was starting to blur.  Shigeta and Wright felt that their professional work informed their personal work and remained active participants in both realms.  Both contributed their professional and personal photographs to pictorialist salons.  Of the photographs in this lot, 'Drying Drums in Paper Mill,'  was likely produced for a commercial client.

Sotheby's wishes to thank Shashi Caudill for sharing her detailed knowledge of Chicago photographic history.


New York