In the past, I wrote about photo auctions and mentioned a few by Sotheby’s. I enjoy them because I get a chance to see many photographs I couldn’t see otherwise. And, most of them present a different set of works by a diverse group of photographers.
About a couple of years ago, I stumbled on Heritage Auctions and even created an account on their site. However, due to an unstoppable stream of e-mails from them, I ended up canceling my account. No loss for either one of us for I could not afford the photographs auctioned anyway.
Yesterday, I got an e-mail from their director of public relations about an upcoming auction. I must add that it was not his mails that made me cancel my account at Heritage Auctions. I visited the collection for the upcoming auction in April and thought what a nice way to spend some time looking at a large collection of photographs. I wrote and requested permission to use some photographs here to whet your appetite and the response came as an enthusiastic “… use any of the images you find …” Thank you, Eric.
When you visit the auction site, you will see the entries in rows. Among them are some classics like some by Stieglitz, Adams, Weston. But, you will also find some you may not be familiar with. And, I am sure once you got into them, you can easily spend a couple of hours. Keep in mind that you can zoom in on the photographs to see up close detail and study the tones and textures. The images you see below are used with permission and reduced in size to minimize the load on the site. Those on the Heritage Auction site are much bigger!
Review them and see how the “selfies” were done in the 19th century (Edward Sheriff Curtis,) or how to create a monumental vision from seashells (Ruth Bernhard) and how sensual that can be. You will note that centering an object in the frame is not inherently bad (André Kertész) and not opening the shadows is perfectly fine (George Tice)!
I made the gallery thumbnails small and cropped so that you will have to click on them to see the full-size image as presented here. As I mentioned, the photographs on the auction site are much bigger and some auction items have multiple photographs in them.
All the photographs in this article are Copyright by Heritage Auctions and used with permission. Now, take a peek at the few I present here. Then, point your browser to the auction and start enjoying them. I tend to view the auction items in separate browser tabs so as not to lose the source of them all.
Those readers who may be familiar with my Hagia Sophia collection will probably understand why I could not resist using a photograph of it as the opening image. A connection with good karma!