For more than 60 years George Eastman House — as the world’s oldest museum of photography— has showcased and supported the celebrated artists of photography. And now as we present the George Eastman House Benefit Auction we have asked the photo world for support and are overwhelmed by the generous response— more than 300 items from 227 donors.
The items exceed $1 million in value and include fine photographic prints, books, and some cameras, spanning 160 years of photography with work dating from 1850 to 2010. Featured are some of the finest names in photography, all worthy of consideration for the Eastman House collections and already represented in our collections. Most every process is represented, including daguerreotypes, salted paper prints, heliogravures, photogravures, carbon, platinum, gelatin silver, dye transfer, and archival pigment prints. All items are donations; none are from the Eastman House collections.
Bert Stern, Marilyn Monroe, from “The Last Sitting” (Diamonds), 1962.
Contemporary archival pigment print mounted to board, image 20 x 24 inches, signed and dated in grease crayon on recto, signed and dated in grease crayon on verso.
Donation of the artist and Staley-Wise Gallery. Estimate: $7,500
© Bert Stern
Due to the large size of the auction, a portion of the lots are available for bidding as of yesterday and through Oct. 7 through an online silent auction at igavelauctions.com. All of the auction items will be displayed at Sotheby’s this weekend and on Oct. 4.
A sampling of esteemed artists whose work is included in the online portion of the benefit auction— who in many cases are also the generous donor of the photograph online pharmacy or item— are John Baldessari, Thomas Barrow, Marilyn Bridges, Carl Chiarenza, William Clift, Lois Conner, Marion Faller & Hollis Frampton, Roger Fenton,
Mario Giacomelli, Lois Greenfield, Ron Haviv, Kenro Izu, Ed Kashi, Michael Kenna, Douglas Kirkland, Mark Klett, Mona Kuhn, David Levinthal, Danny Lyon, Nathan Lyons, Amanda Marchand, Joel Meyerowitz, Jeffrey Milstein, Eadweard Muybridge, Felix Nadar, Graham Nash, Gordon Parks, Melissa Ann Pinney, David Plowden, Christopher Rauschenberg, Marc Riboud, Willy Ronis, John Sexton, Gerald Slota, Alfred Stieglitz, Josef Sudek, Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, Larry Towell, Arthur Tress, Todd Webb, William Wegman, Brett Weston, and Garry Winogrand.
Paul Everard Outerbridge “Consciousness”. 1931
Toned vintage gelatin print
9 1/2 x 7 1/8 inches
A sampling from the long list of the generous donors includes Bonni Benrubi Gallery, Michael Feinstein, Fraenkel Gallery, Julie Saul Gallery, Laurence Miller Gallery, Paula and Mack Lee, Martin Margulies, Michael Mazzeo Gallery, Paul Kopeikin Gallery, Susan Spiritus Gallery, and Throckmorton Fine Art.
The live auction at Sotheby’s New York begins at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 4. Work is included by artists such as Berenice Abbott, Ansel Adams, Louis Faurer, Benedict Fernandez, Todd Hido, Horst P. Horst, Eikoh Hosoe, Gertrude Kasebier, Sally Mann, Nickolas Muray, Paul Outerbridge Jr., Sebastiao Salgado, Southworth & Hawes, Edward Steichen, and Edward Weston. Subjects of the featured photographs include Marilyn Monroe, Frido Kahlo, John F. and Jackie Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, Martin Luther King Jr., Coco Chanel, Auguste Rodin, and New York City sites, plus a Kodak Colorama art-directed by Norman Rockwell.
Sotheby’s New York has generously opened its doors to us and at the podium during the live auction will be Denise Bethel, vice president and director of the photographs department at Sotheby’s. And two Eastman House trustees have led the charge: Manfred Heiting, chairman of the George Eastman House Benefit Auction Committee, and Susan Robfogel, chairman of the George Eastman House Board of Trustees.
The members of the Honorary Committee for the Eastman House auction are Joree Adilman, Deborah Bell, Bruce Berman, Janet Borden, Jeff Bridges, Peter Bunnell, Francesca Calderone-Steichen, David Friend, Howard Greenberg, Paul Hertzman, Susan Herzig, David Knaus, Peter MacGill, Michael Mazzeo, Mark McKenna, Bill Mindlin, Richard Menschel, Robert Morton, Stephen Perloff, Jill Quasha, Ira Resnick, Susan Spiritus, Lauren Wendle.
The late Joanna Steichen, who donated a signed self-portrait of husband Edward Steichen, had graciously agreed to serve as the chairwoman of auction’s Honorary Committee prior to her unexpected passing in July. The auction is dedicated in her memory.
For more than two years at Eastman House we have been gathering donations from collectors, photographers, gallerists, and dealers worldwide. The challenge of the recession has required the Museum to employ new fiscal ventures, such as this auction.
So, why is it important to support George Eastman House? Auction proceeds will help the Eastman House maintain its extensive collections of photographs, camera technology, motion pictures, and related literature, totaling more than 4 million objects. This benefit will help ensure continued growth of resources that foster research and study into one of the world’s most historically significant collections, as well as the world-renowned schools of photographic and film preservation. Also benefiting will be the National Historic Landmark house and gardens.
This is an auction for everyone, with no reserve, where one can bid hundreds of dollars to six figures. You can bid online, by phone, by mail, or in person with us in New York. We invite you to take part and alongside us celebrate photography and George Eastman House.
Dr. Anthony Bannon is the Director of George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film. He has held that position since 1996, previously serving as director of the Burchfield-Penney Arts Center, and director of Cultural Affairs on the campus of the State University of New York at Buffalo, both located in Buffalo, N.Y.