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Iconic Work by Richard Avedon and Vintage Edward Weston, Lead Fine Photographs Sale at Bonhams
Richard Avedon (American, 1923-2004); Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent, Los Angeles, California. Photo: Bonhams.

NEW YORK, NY.- Fine Photography aficionados were drawn to Bonhams New York for the firm’s highly anticipated May 18th sale. Offering work spanning from the early 19th century to today, the sale featured images by such legendary photographers as Richard Avedon, Edward Weston, and Ansel Adams.

The top lot proved to be Richard Avedon’s 1981 Nastassja Kinski and the Serpent. Exemplifying Avedon’s signature melding of art and beauty photography, this iconic 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’ the lot brought $48,800.

Outperforming was Edward Weston’s Pine, Lake Tenaya (1937). Having been published in Edward Weston: Forms of Passion (1995) and Edward Weston: A Legacy (2003) the vintage print was cause for excitement. Following a session of competitive bidding the lot brought $29,280 against an estimate of $10,000-15,000.

A number of Ansel Adams images attracted bidders. Adams’ dramatic, 1944 Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite National Park, California brought $28,060. The photographer’s 1941 photograph Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico achieved $27,450 and his 1933 image The Golden Gate before the Bridge, San Francisco, California realized $18,300.

Bert Stern’s 1962 portfolio Marilyn Monroe-The Last Sitting drew much attention. Presented in its original red portfolio case, the lot consists of 10 signed and numbered Chromogenic prints plus 20 artist's proofs and 20 publisher's proofs. Surpassing its estimate of $15,000-20,000 the lot brought $27,450 at the close of bidding.

Also outperforming was Berenice Abbott’s atmospheric, 1932 image titled New York at Night. Signed and numbered ‘46/100’ with her ‘Maine’ ink stamp on mount verso, the lot neatly topped its estimate of $18,000-25,000 with a final price of $25,620.

Far exceeding their pre-sale estimates were works by William Garnett and Richard Misrach. After a furious round of bidding Garnett’s 1974 aerial image Train crossing desert near Kelso, California soared past its estimate of $3,000-5,000 ultimately fetching $13,420. Misrach’s 1977 image, Desert Cactus, similarly lured bidders bringing $10,065 against an estimate of $4,000-6,000.

Bonhams | Richard Avedon | Edward Weston | Ansel Adams |

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