Work by Richard Avedon, Edward Weston, and Helmut Newton for Bonhams New York Fine Photography Auction

. May 8, 2010

Collectors are eagerly awaiting Bonhams New York’s May 18th Fine Photographs sale. Consisting of just over 130 lots, the upcoming auction offers work spanning from the early 19th century to today and will feature images by such legendary photographers as Richard Avedon, Edward Weston, Helmut Newton, and Ansel Adams.

Of great interest to collectors will be Richard Avedon’s iconic 1981 image Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent. This instantly recognizable work exemplifies Avedon’s signature melding of art and beauty photography. This famed piece has been much published, notably appearing in On the Edge: Images from 100 Years of Vogue (Random House, 1992). Signed and numbered ’45/200′ with a copyright credit reproduction limitation, edition and title stamp, the lot is estimated at $35,000 – 55,000.

Cause for excitement is Edward Weston’s 1939 photo titled, Nude Floating in Pool. Many prints of this image, printed later by Edward’s son, Cole, often appear on the market. However, this is the first time a vintage print has come to auction. The owner, Zilpha Riley, acquired it around 1942 directly from the photographer. After Zilpha’s death in 1965, the photograph was put in storage until family members discovered it recently amongst her property. Signed, dated, and numbered ‘N39-C-2’ by the photographer the lot carries an estimate of $30,000-50,000.

An image from Helmut Newton will lure bidders. Cash Room at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, (1989) presents viewers with a darkly humorous, behind-the-scenes look at a long-past Las Vegas. Estimated at $25,000 – 35,000 the piece is signed, titled, dated, and numbered ‘1/5′.

Ansel Adams’ unmistakable style is perfectly displayed in a 1944 photograph titled Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite National Park, California. Having appeared in numerous publications including Ansel Adams at 100 by John Szarkowski (Little Brown, 2003) the piece is signed in pencil, titled in ink, and bears Adams’ credit stamp ‘Photograph by Ansel Adams, Route 1, Box 181, Carmel, California 93921′ . The dramatic image is expected to fetch $25,000 – 35,000.

Additionally, an excellent Robert Mapplethorpe work will be offered. Titled Patrice #2 (1977), the work is a quintessential Mapplethorpe piece, bearing all the hallmarks of the photographer’s oeuvre. Carrying an estimate of $20,000-30,000 it is certain to be of particular interest to collectors.

Bidders will also be drawn to Henri Cartier-Bresson’s Rue Mouffetard (est. $18,000 – 25,000); Berenice Abbott’s New York at Night (est. $15,000 – 20,000); Herb Ritts’ image of Madonna in Tokyo (est. $11,000 – 15,000); and the cover lot of the sale Michael Eastman’s Green Dining Room from his Cuba series (est. $10,000 – 15,000).

Previews will take place at Bonhams’ New York galleries starting on May 15th until the sale date of May 18th. The sale will take place in New York on May18th at 1 PM EST and will be simulcast to the San Francisco and Los Angeles galleries as well. The illustrated auction catalog for the sale will be online at in the weeks preceding the preview and auction. For more information about the department, please visit

Category: Auction News

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