Rare works of famed photographers expected to get record prices at auction

Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:37pm EST
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By Patricia Reaney

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Vintage photographs by some of the world's most famous photographers such as Edward Weston, Alfred Stieglitz and Man Ray are expected to fetch more than $5.2 million at auction and set record prices for their works, Christie's said.

The 70 prints, which were made mainly in the 1920s, were amassed by a private collector and focused on photographers influenced by the artistic revolution in Western Europe at the turn of the century.

"If you tried to put this collection together today, it would be impossible. The work is of such a high quality," said Laura Paterson, Christie's vice president and specialist in the photography department.

"I think there will be a number of world records here. The works are just too important for serious collectors to overlook," she added in an interview.

One of the highlights of the April 4 sale in New York, with a pre-sale estimate of $600,000, will be "Nude," a 1925 photo by Weston of his lover Miriam Lerner, a Los Angeles socialite.

The rare photograph is one of only two prints from a negative that was destroyed in the 1930s. The other print, which Paterson said is cropped differently, is in private hands.

"(It) is one of Edward Weston's finest and most important nudes, yet very little-known," according to Christie's.

The collector, who is based in South America, and his art advisor, Jill Rose, put together a 'wish list' of works by elite photographers who had made an enormous contribution to modern art and assembled the collection from 1979 to the late 1990s.   Continued...

A gelatin silver print titled "From the Back Window - "291" - N.Y., Summer 1914" by photographer Alfred Stieglitz is shown in this handout photo provided by Christie's Auction House in New York January 24, 2013. REUTERS/Alfred Stieglitz/Georgia O'Keefe Museum/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/Handout