Photos 1900s 1910s (page in reconstruction)
Please note that the date in the subtitles below is the date of the print, when known
1902-1917 THE ARTISTIC VISION OF ALFRED STIEGLITZ
2011 SOLD 400 K$ INCLUDING PREMIUM
1904 The Pond
2006 SOLD for $ 2.9M by Sotheby's
Eduard 'Edward' Steichen meets Stieglitz in New York City in 1900. He is 21 years old. They collaborate closely, and Steichen deepens his research aimed at making photography recognized as an art in its own right.
The success of a photographic image depends on the quality of the entire chain, from the shooting to the processing in the laboratory. Steichen practices the process with gum bichromate, recommended by Demachy. This process makes it possible to reproduce an illusion of colors, in a more subtle way than a simple watercoloring. The first suitable process of color photography will be released by the Lumière brothers in 1907.
Steichen does not shy away from difficulties. One of his favorite themes is moonlight, with its subtle colors. He is a painter and observes these scenes imagining which pigments he can use. In 1904 he takes the plunge. His photograph of a pond in New York is an opportunity to experiment with an ambience effect by applying the gum bichromate in multiple layers.
The task is long and difficult. Steichen achieves three prints of his photo, each time with a different configuration of chemicals and layers. This interesting nocturnal effect, subtitled Moonlight or Moonrise, reveals the moon twice : on the horizon through a sparse wood and by the pale light it brings to the surface of the pond.
One of the prints was donated by Stieglitz in 1933 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and another by Steichen in 1967 to the Museum of Modern Art. The third print was in a collection which was acquired as a whole by the Met in 2005. Considered as a duplicate in the Met collection, it was put back on the market by the museum.
The Pond - Moonlight, multiple gum bichromate print over platinum 40 x 50 cm, was sold for $ 2.9M by Sotheby's on February 14, 2006 from a lower estimate of $ 700K, lot 6.
1905 The Flatiron
2022 SOLD for $ 11.8M by Christie's
Both use the color piments in an effect of dark on black with limited spots including the moon over the pond and the light of the carriages in the street. They are great examples of the movement known as Pictorialism for which Stieglitz and Steichen had created in 1903 the Camera Work magazine.
The quantity of prints was limited in both cases by the extreme complexity of the process. Any of them has another tone setting.
Four copies in gum bichromate on platinum are known of the Flatiron. Three of them are kept by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The other copy, in a 48 x 38 cm sheet dated 1905 by the artist, is very dark over black. It was treasured by his family until 1992 and was sold for $ 11.8M from a lower estimate of $ 2M by Christie's on November 9, 2022, lot 4.
1904-1942 The Photographic Archive of Baseball
2016 SOLD for $ 1.8M including premium
Until 1942 Conlon is the anonymous author of the most important photographs of baseball, published and re-published in magazines, guides and sports cards. All the top players in Major League are displayed in his work.
Conlon shoots all his views on the field. He observes the differentiation of actions depending of the player, their method to hold the ball or the bat. His early negatives are made on glass plates 5 x 7 ". The improvement of the techniques then allows the photographer to use the format 4 x 5" on glass and later on acetate.
The increase of sensitivity now makes possible the view of a speedy movement in close up. His image freezing a spectacular action by Ty Cobb on July 23, 1910 is a masterpiece of instant photography.
The 7,462 original negatives taken by Conlon during the 38 years of his photographic career are housed in 85 boxes, each one around shoebox size. They are sold together at lot 80082 by Heritage in Dallas on August 27 with a guide value of $ 1M.
This complete archive is unique, sensational and irreplaceable in the history of baseball throughout its period. The sale includes only the photographs and in no way the intellectual property rights. Please watch the video shared by Heritage.
1905 THE FAVORED CHILD OF PICTORIALISM
2014 SOLD FOR $ 965K INCLUDING PREMIUM
1907-1930 The North American Indian by Curtis
2012 SOLD for $ 2.9M by Christie's
When Curtis began to visit the western America, the tribal populations had declined dramatically, and many of them were snapped up by other forms of civilization. This is the end of an era.
When Curtis began recording thousands of photographs, this technique was already fully mastered. The photographer is no more a chemist or an experimenter, he can concentrate on his subject. This is the beginning of another era.
Compare dates: the first issue of Camera Work is published by Stieglitz in 1903. The first delivery of The North American Indian by Curtis, sold by subscription, in 1907.
Tirelessly, Curtis visited the 80 most authentic tribes. His friendship with some chiefs was facilitated by his application to use their own language, opening to him the path for the other communities.
When the publishing venture of The North American Indian ends in 1930 because of financial difficulties, Curtis had managed the most extraordinary and unsurpassed photographic documentary of all time : 2,200 selected photographs distributed among twenty volumes of text and twenty portfolios.
The copy for sale by Christie's on April 10, 2012 is complete. Kept in excellent condition, it is certainly the finest surviving example of this unusual work. It was sold for $ 2.9M from a lower estimate of $ 1M, lot 38.
1911 Autographed Photo of Joe Jackson
2021 SOLD for $ 1.47M by Christie's and Hunt
Smith was indeed a fan of the local MLB club, the Cleveland Naps. He joined the Naps in March 1911 in Alexandria, Virginia, where they had some training. The album was featuring the players and managers of the Naps during that session and was completed later in that year by similar views of the New York Giants taken in Chicago. The format was mostly 8 x 10 inches in size for the Naps and 5 x 8 inches for the rest of it.
Three stars of the baseball were included. Nap Lajoie was the Cleveland team's namesake since 1903 and Joe Jackson had just been hired by them. Christy Mathewson was with the Giants. Their photos were offered as separate lots and the rest of it was sold for $ 13K. Christy fetched $ 93K and Nap $ 16.7K.
The athletic prodigy Shoeless Joe, aged 24, was the highlight of the collection. He was reputed to be an illiterate and indeed his writing is clumsy. I guess that he would not refuse an autograph to Smith while the rest of the team was doing it. It is the only known photo autographed by Joe Jackson in his 13 year MLB career. It has been authenticated by PSA/DNA. The location and date have been added by Smith below the signature of the illiterate.
This photo was sold for $ 180K by Heritage on February 21, 2015, lot 80051 and for $ 1.47M by Christie's and Hunt on October 7, 2021, lot 58. In the same 2021 sale, Christy's 5 " x 8 " photo from the Smith album was sold for $ 138K, lot 55.
An #auctionrecord for any signed sports photograph was set for an exceedingly scarce and important 1911 "Shoeless" Joe Jackson-autographed photo by Frank W. Smith which sold for $1,470,000, far exceeding the estimate of $200,000-400,000. @HuntAuctions https://t.co/MF5ay34oiU pic.twitter.com/pePqvupClf— Christie's (@ChristiesInc) October 7, 2021