Sotheby’s October 5, Photographs Sale

At the Sotheby’s Photographs sale on October 5th, there were a handful of lots which featured photographs of black people, or were produced by black photographers.  Among the 185 lots offerred were:

Lot 65: Henri Cartier Bresson

Easter Parade Harlem, 1947

Sold for 7,500 USD

Lot 72: Herman Leonard

Jazz Studies, 1948-1991

Sold for 28, 125 USD

Lot 113: Paul Outerbridge, Jr.

Sleepy Negro” 1924

Sold for 31, 250 USD

Lot 168: Carrie Mae Weems

Made for Him, Made for Her” 1993

Sold for 13,750 USD

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Roy DeCarava Photographs to Auction at Sotheby’s

Lots 79 through 82 of Sotheby’s April 13th Photography Auction include works by Roy DeCarava. The images were originally included in the library of entertainer and social activist, Harry Belafonte.

Catalogue notes indicate that the images were used as part of the production of Belafonte: New York 19, a CBS television special broadcasted on Sunday, 20 November 1960. Along with DeCarava’s well-known work on jazz musicians and Harlem, he collaborated on album photography for Belafonte.

Roy DeCarava (1919-2009) Dancers' Legs, New York 19, ca. 1956, printed ca. 1960. Estimate: 10,000-15,000 USD. Lot 81.

New York Auction House Photography Sales – March 30 and 31, 2009

There are some noteworthy examples of photographs that feature Black subjects in the Monday, March 30th and Tuesday, March 31st sales of Photographs at Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction house in New York.

At Sotheby’s Robert Mapplethorpe’s “Selected Images of Ajitto” feature two silver gelatin prints available for an auction estimate of $15,000 – $25,000. The property is from the art collection of the Bank of America. At Christie’s “Ajitto” 1981 offers four silver gelatin prints estimated for sale at $ 120,000 – $ 180,000.

ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE (1946 - 1989) Selected Images of Ajitto
ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE (1946 - 1989) Selected Images of Ajitto - for sale at Sotheby's, March 30, 2009
Sothbey’s also offers James Van Der Zee’s work in a portfolio of eighteen photographs focusing on various themes such as family, religion, education, and leisure time. The photographs are dated 1905-1938 and were printed in 1974 by Graphics International, Ltd. based in Washington, D.C. The portfolio is estimated to sell at $ 15,000 to $ 25,000.
Couple, Harlem, 1932
JAMES VAN DER ZEE ( 1886 - 1983) Couple, Harlem, 1932
At Christie’s, a Bruce Davidson (b. 1933) gelatin silver print of a young woman and child sitting on a bed, naked, from his “East 100th Street, New York, 1966-1968” book is estimated to sell at $ 7,000 – $ 9,000. It will be interesting to see whether Davidson’s work fetches within the estimate or exceeds it. “East 100th Street, New York” is a riveting portrayal of the black and latino community living in what is also known as “Spanish Harlem” or El Barrio.

Untitled (from "East 100th Street, New York, 1966-1968)
Untitled (from "East 100th Street, New York, 1966-1968)