Skinner Inc.

Auctioneers and Appraisers

Author Archives: Michelle Lamunière

The Duality of Robert Mapplethorpe

Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946-1989) Flowers, 1984 (Lot 128, Estimate $15,000-25,000)

Among the highlights in Skinner’s September 27 Fine Prints & Photographs auction are three flower studies by Robert Mapplethorpe whose extensive and provocative body of work has established him as one of the most important artists of the 20th-century. Mapplethorpe was born in 1946 in Floral Park, Queens. He studied drawing, painting, and sculpture at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and began using a Polaroid camera in 1970 to produce photographs that could be incorporated into mixed-media collages and assemblage constructions including magazine imagery and found objects.… Read More

Ansel Adams’s Mural-size Photographs Are “Statements of Importance and Beauty”

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984) Leaves and Raindrops, Glacier Bay National Monument, c. 1948 (Lot 142, Estimate: $15,000-25,000)

Among the highlights of Skinner’s May 19th Fine Photographs auction are two mural-sized gelatin silver prints by noted photographer Ansel Adams. Adams was a founding member, along with Imogen Cunningham, Edward Weston, and others, of Group f/64, a San Francisco Bay Area-based alliance of eleven American photographers that formed in 1932.… Read More

Exotic Places and Famous Faces: 19th-Century Photography on Offer to Benefit the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Skinner is delighted to offer a selection of works from the collection of Harvey Shipley Miller, who, with his then partner, J. Randall Plummer, began acquiring photographs in the 1970s just as the market for the medium was beginning to develop. Proceeds from the January 27 auction will benefit the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Among the highlights are a fascinating and eclectic group of the 19th-century offerings, including works by Antonio Beato, Auguste Salzmann, Francis Frith, Oscar Rejlander, Julia Margaret Cameron, and David Wilkie Wynfield, among others.… Read More

Works by 19th-century, Modern, and Contemporary Masters Featured in Fine Photographs Auction, January 27

On Friday, January 27, Skinner will present its winter Prints & Photographs auction in Boston, beginning at 12 pm. The selection of fine photographs on offer features a range of 19th and 20th century works by such masters as Auguste Salzmann, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Alfred Stieglitz, Irving Penn, Nan Goldin, and others.

Francis Frith (British, 1822-1898) Street View in Cairo, 1858 (Lot 132, Estimate: $2,500-3,500)

Among the highlights is a group of works being sold to benefit the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA).… Read More

A Brief History of Photography in Boston

From the August 2016 Issue | Journal of the Print World

The New England region, and Boston in particular, has played an important role in the history of photography, from its earliest days in the nineteenth century to a broad range of contemporary practice that embraces, but also expands upon, the medium today.

The root of the word photography comes from the Greek language and means “drawing with light.” While there had been previous attempts to make images permanent, this relatively recent medium emerged in the 1830s with the announcement of groundbreaking photographic processes developed by Louis-Jacques- Mandé Daguerre in France and William Henry Fox Talbot in England.… Read More

“A New Sort of Poetry:” Wright Morris and 20th Century Photography

Wright Morris (American, 1910-1998) Farmhouse in Winter, near Lincoln, Nebraska, 1940, printed later (Lot 99, Estimate $1,200-$1,800)

We are delighted to offer in our May 13th Fine Prints & Photographs auction a view of a Farmhouse in Winter, near Lincoln, Nebraska (1940, printed later) by the novelist and photographer Wright Morris (Lot 99, $1,200-1,800). In the late 1930s and 1940s, Morris made beautiful and poignant photographs exploring the rural culture of the American countryside.… Read More

Abrams Original Edition Prints: Early Efforts to Promote Fine Art Photography Collecting

Arnold Newman (American, 1918-2006) Andrew Wyeth, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, 1948, printed 1970s (Lot 101, Estimate $1,000-$1,500)

In 1972, the publisher Harry N. Abrams announced a program offering thirty limited edition black-and-white prints by ten eminent photographers. Each photograph (in editions of 99) was made from the original negative by the artist, assisted by a master printer from a custom lab. The photographers, representing a range of practices from photojournalism to creative photography, included Wynn Bullock, Eliot Elisofon, Ernst Haas, Philippe Halsman, Ken Heyman, Arnold Newman, Gordon Parks, Marc Riboud, Aaron Siskind, and Howard Sochurek.… Read More

John Beasley Greene and the Artistry
of 19th Century Photographic Processes

I’m a bit of a process geek when it comes to nineteenth-century photography. Technology advanced in such rapid and interesting ways during the early years of the medium’s existence. Photographers were constantly experimenting with, combining, and improving upon formulas for making negatives and developing and fixing images. A good example of these innovations—a salt print (Lot 76, Estimate $3,000-5,000) made from a waxed paper negative by the French-born American archaeologist John Beasley Greene (1832-1856)—is one of the highlights of Skinner’s January 22 Fine Prints & Photographs auction.Read More

Contemporary Indian Photography is in the Air!

There have been a number of thought-provoking exhibitions of contemporary Indian photography around the country recently. Artists working in India as well as those from the South Asian diaspora are creating socially engaged works that challenge and complicate ideas around such issues as culture, identity, gender, race, stereotypes, modernity, and high and low art. The market for modern and contemporary Indian art is growing, and with demand rising for diversity across media, photography is coming into the spotlight!… Read More

Photography on the Battlefield

Photographer’s tent at Antietam National Battlefield

On a recent trip to Maryland, my husband and I visited the national park at Antietam, the site of a ferocious one-day battle on September 17, 1862, in which 23,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed, wounded, or went missing. We were fortunate to be there at the tail end of a week and a half series of lectures and living history events commemorating the 153rd anniversary of the encounter. Our visit began with a fascinating overview of the role of the United States Sanitary Commission in improving the lives of the soldiers, especially at the front lines (we were surprised to learn that over two-thirds of the 622,000 men who lost their lives in the Civil War died from disease rather than from battle).… Read More

1 2