Brunk Auctions Presents Black-and-White Prints by Iconic American Photographers
This May, Brunk Auctions will present nearly 400 works of fine and decorative art in its Premier Auction. Leading the catalog is a selection of black-and-white images from prominent American photographers such as Irving Penn, Alfred Stieglitz, and Ansel Adams. Learn more about some of the top lots in this sale before placing a bid.
Leading this sale is a platinum palladium print by Irving Penn. This is a black-and-white photo of American fashion model Jean Patchett for the April 1950 cover of Vogue (lot #800; estimate: USD 80,000 – $120,000). This print was created in 1974. Penn’s photographs are notable for their clean lines, symmetry, and innovative use of black and white. The artist also had a firm grasp on advertising and editorial showmanship from his long tenure at Vogue. This 1950 cover was designed to be eye-catching with its striking composition and use of negative space.
Another top lot of this sale is a 1907 large-format photogravure on vellum by American photographer Alfred Stieglitz (lot #798; estimate: $20,000 – $30,000). The work captures a large crowd of immigrants on a ship, divided by two decks. The image itself is split by a light-colored bridge strung together with chains. Partially known for his marriage with Georgia O’Keeffe, Stieglitz was a significant artist in his own right. He was an early promoter of photography and a pioneer of the emerging art form. The Steerage is among Stieglitz’s most famous images, notable for capturing the spirit of Modernism and depicting the reality of immigrants in early 20th-century America.
Also available in the upcoming Premier Auction is a signed gelatin silver print of Monolith, the Face of Half Dome by American photographer Ansel Adams (lot #802; estimate: $20,000 – $30,000). This 1927 image captures the western face of a massive rock formation in Yosemite National Park. Monolith was an early attempt by Adams to communicate feelings through photography, a technique he expanded and refined later in his career. To increase the drama of the scene, Adams used a deep-red filter to darken the mid-afternoon sky and draw out the details on the rock face.
Lastly, Brunk Auctions’ latest sale will feature a signed gelatin silver print of Ruth Orkin’s An American Girl in Italy (lot #803; estimate: $12,000 – $18,000). This image is perhaps Orkin’s most-recognized work, taken while on a trip to Florence, Italy. It shows a 23-year-old young woman, Ninalee Craig (then known as Jinx Allen), navigating down a city street while being openly ogled by over a dozen Italian men. Orkin and Craig met at the American Express office and found common ground in their experiences as young women traveling alone. The pair staged several photoshoots together. The results were later published in Cosmopolitan magazine, and An American Girl in Italy became an icon of the feminist movement.
The Premier Auction at Brunk Auctions will begin on May 19, 2023 at 9:00 AM EDT. To view the complete catalog and place a bid, visit Bidsquare. Find additional coverage of this sale on Auction Daily.
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