Lot 36
  • 36

Paul Outerbridge, Jr.

20,000 - 30,000 USD
20,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Paul Outerbridge, Jr.
  • Color carbro print
  • 15 5/8  by 12 1/8  in. (39.5 by 30.6 cm.)
tri-color print, the 'Estate of Paul Outerbridge, Jr., POC#___' stamp, numbered 763 (twice) in an unidentified hand in pencil, framed, Buhl Collection and Robert Miller Gallery labels on the reverse, circa 1936


The Paul Outerbridge estate

G. Ray Hawkins Gallery, Los Angeles

Robert Miller Gallery, New York, 1987

Acquired from the above, 1996


Laguna Beach Museum of Art, Paul Outerbridge: A Singular Aesthetic, November 1981 - January 1982, and traveling thereafter to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Oklahoma Art Center, Oklahoma City; Kunsthalle, Cologne, Germany; Minneapolis Institute of the Arts; Baltimore Museum of Art; and Madison Art Center, Wisconsin, through September 1983

Palm Beach Photographic Centre, In Good Hands: Selected Works from the Buhl Collection, March 2011

Middletown, Delaware, Warner Gallery at St. Andrew's School, In Good Hands: Selected Works from the Buhl Collection, October - November 2011


Elaine Dines and Graham Howe, Paul Outerbridge: A Singular Aesthetic (Laguna Beach Museum of Art, 1981), pl. 74 (this print)

Graham Howe and G. Ray Hawkins, Paul Outerbridge, Jr.: Photographs (New York, 1980), p. 121

Elaine Dines-Cox and Carol McCusker, Paul Outerbridge, 1896 -1958 (Taschen, 1999), p. 201

Catalogue Note

A Pictorialist turned Modernist, Paul Outerbridge took all that he had learned as a student of the Clarence White School and created a new vocabulary for the world of commercial photography.  His accomplished still life arrangements and his mastery of the new color processes kept him in demand both as an advertising photographer and as a printer.

As with all of his best work, the image offered here is an elusive blend of ordinary objects and private imaginings.  If Favor Horn and Shell was a commercial assignment, its intended product message is unknown.  With its terry cloth backdrop, a conch shell, and a rope of costume jewelry, the picture embodies Outerbridge’s own special brand of Surrealism, brought to life with the touch of a mannequin hand.  Outerbridge also incorporated other plaster casts into his oeuvre, most notably a Graeco-Roman sculpture head, to great effect.   In the present image, the unmistakably artificial hand seems suddenly real and animates the entire tableau.

Outerbridge was one of the progenitors of modern color photography, and he experimented widely with available processes, contributing his own innovations to a number of them.  He was an acknowledged master of the carbro process, but was fluent in a variety of other color techniques.  The print offered here is believed to be a Chromatone print, a type of color photograph described by Outerbridge in his seminal Photographing in Color (New York, 1940) as having the ‘high glossy surface’ and other traits evident in the present print (pp. 5-8 and pp. 188-189).