Lot 11
  • 11

Minor White

5,000 - 7,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Minor White
  • With the photographer's San Francisco studio stamp and typed caption affixed to the reverse
  • Gelatin silver print
  • 9 1/8 x 7 1/8 inches
the photographer's '135 Jackson, San Francisco 11, Calif.' studio stamp and the number '#3' in pencil on the reverse, a typed caption affixed to the reverse, framed, 1948


Swann Galleries, 13 December 2007, Sale 2132, Lot 281

Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York, 2008

Catalogue Note

The model for this photograph was Tom Murphy, with whom Minor White worked extensively in the late 1940s, while teaching at San Francisco’s California School of Fine Arts.  Murphy, a young student there, was one of the key models in White’s photographic exploration of the male nude form.   One of White’s many photographs of Murphy appears on the dust jacket of Peter Bunnell’s 1989 volume, Minor White: The Eye That Shapes

In the photograph offered here, White has cropped the image to show only Murphy's right foot.  According to Peter Bunnell, a print of the full negative appears in a Minor White sequence, the combination of photographs and lyrical text that was so central to White’s philosophy and practice of photography.   Bunnell has identified the full-negative image as plate 9 in The Temptation of St. Anthony is Mirrors, from 1948.  It is believed that the Minor White Archive at Princeton University holds the only extant copy of this sequence in its complete form.

The print offered here was originally part of a group of Minor White photographs accompanied by his manuscript and typed writings, suggesting that it was intended as an illustration for one of the photographer’s many articles or lectures.