Virtual ‘Who’s Who’ of American photography represented in Heritage Auctions’ June 9 Fine Art Photography event
Robert Mapplethorpe’s delicate, lilting 1984 gelatin silver photograph Calla Lily is expected to bring between $30,000-$40,000 as one of the principal highlights in Heritage Auctions June 9 Signature® Vintage & Contemporary Photography Auction, taking place at the company’s Dallas Design District Annex, 1518 Slocum Street.
“There are few modern photographers more widely recognized or controversial than Mapplethorpe,” said Ed Jaster, Vice President of Heritage. “Calla Lily, however, is simply a brilliant photograph that shows Mapplethorpe’s ability as an artist to capture an image and re-contextualize the subject in a transcendent way. This photograph is about the art, nothing else.”
Mapplethorpe is just the first among equals in the collection that Heritage has assembled for this auction, with prime examples from some of the biggest names to ever pick up a camera, from the early days of the form up through the giants of today.
“This auction reads like a Who’s Who of great photographers,” said Jaster. “We have examples from Irving Penn, Yousuf Karsh, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Annie Leibovitz and more.”
Irving Penn is widely regarded as one of America’s most-brilliant and influential post-War photographers. A pair of photographs in this auction vividly display his genius with a variety of subjects as well as his mastery of both color photography and black & white. His Three Tulips: Red Shine, Black Parrot, Gudoshnik, New York, 1967 Dye-transfer, 1987 is estimated at $25,000-$35,000, while his evocative 1947 gelatin silver print Still Life (with mouse) is estimated at $15,000-$25,000.
One of the most intriguing, enigmatic and compelling photographs in the auction, and one that is sure to capture the attention of bidders, is Richard Avedon’s virtuosic portrait, John Harrison, lumber salesman and his daughter Melissa, Lewisville, TX, (from In the American West), November 11, 1981, in which Avedon presents his subject with compassion, humor and amazing intensity. It is estimated at $25,000-$35,000.
There are few American photographs more famous than Alfred Eisenstaedt’s V.J. Day, Times Square, New York City, 1945, with the iconic image of a newly-returned sailor kissing a USO nurse, and a gelatin silver print of that celebrated image (estimate: $12,000-$15,000) anchors a grouping of six Eisenstaedt photographs in the auction, including the breathtaking Marilyn Monroe, 1953 (estimate: $7,000-$10,000), Ice Skating Waiter, St. Moritz, 1932 (Estimate: $6,000-$8,000) and Portrait of Marilyn Monroe, 1953 (Estimate: $5,000-$7,000).
Two stunning portraits by masters of the form also bear significant mention: Yousuf Karsh’s doleful and revealing 1948 gelatin silver print of Albert Einstein is estimated to bring between $7,000-$9,000, while Annie Leibovitz’s Robert Redford, Malibu, California 1980, captures the famed movie star in a brilliantly blue-framed moment of repose in Los Angeles while at the same time showing the touch that has made Leibovitz the most famous photographer of contemporary America. It is estimated at $4,000-$6,000.
Further highlights include, but are not limited to:
Timothy O’Sullivan, The Halt, 1864, albumen: Estimate: $4,000-$6,000.
Helmut Newton, Cyberwomen 1, 2000, gelatin silver paper: Estimate: $3,000-$5,000.
Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.