Skinner Inc.

Auctioneers and Appraisers

Author Archives: Michelle Lamunière

Atget and Abbott: Documenting Changing Urban Landscapes

Skinner’s September 21 Fine Photographs auction opens with two special groups (both vintage and later prints) of images by Eugène Atget and Berenice Abbott. Atget (1857-1927) is remembered for documenting historical aspects of the city of Paris as it was being transformed by modernization. His work inspired Abbott (1898-1991) to focus on the changing buildings and neighborhoods of the city in her project Changing New York. Atget and Abbott met in 1926, and developed a special bond.… Read More

10 Tips For Collecting Fine Art Photographs

Photography offers an extraordinary variety of imagery often at a more reasonable price point than paintings and sculpture. If you’re a beginner collector or a seasoned one looking to explore a new art form, photographs are an excellent option and value.

#1 Put in the time

Spend time reading publications and online sources about photography. Photograph Magazine, which lists current gallery and museum exhibitions, and iPhoto Central, each provide a wealth of information on topics ranging from connoisseurship to conservation and are some of my favorites.Read More

The Duality of Robert Mapplethorpe

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”

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. Taking the natural environment as their primary subject, the group’s photographs celebrate both organic form and personal expression.… 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.

Among the highlights is a group of works being sold to benefit the Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA). The 19th century offerings include two large-scale albumen prints of a Cairo street view and an Egyptian landscape by Francis Frith (lot 132, $2,500-3,500; lot 133, $3,000-5,000); several Oscar Rejlander figure studies (lots 137 and 138, $800-1,200 each); forty-five River Thames views of locks, bridges, and weirs by Victor Albert Prout (lot 139, $1,500-2,500), and a selection of Eadweard Muybridge Animal Locomotion collotypes.… 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

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. His emphasis was on architecture and still life, but unlike the work of Walker Evans, which provides a more formal description of American vernacular structures such as a view of graffiti on the side of a building in lower Manhattan (Lot 111, $1,500-2,500), Morris photographed farms and homesteads that were fading into the past.… Read More

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

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

1 2