Auction Preview: MoMA: Pictorialism into Modernism, October 5-12, 2017 @Christie’s Online

This sale at Christie’s is part of a larger series of online photography sales where all the lots have come from the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Between now and April of 2018, Christie’s will hold a total of 7 online actions, with a mix of single artist sales and wider gatherings of material. Whether the purely online market is now robust enough to deliver solid results for all of this MoMA material (over 400 lots across all of the sales) remains to be seen.

This sale provides a survey of the photography made between the late 1890s and the 1930s, tracking the stylistic transition from soft focus Pictorialism to hard edged Modernism. The sale is led by a Clarence White nude (in platinum) and runs the gamut from dreamy textural portraits to sharp industrial scenes. Overall, there are a total of 58 lots available in the sale, with a Total High Estimate of $1222000.

Here’s the statistical breakdown:

Preview Statistics
Total Low Lots (high estimate up to and including $10000) 29
Total Low Estimate (sum of high estimates of low lots) $170000
Total Mid Lots (high estimate between $10000 and $50000) 23
Total Mid Estimate $582000
Total High Lots (high estimate above $50000) 6
Total High Estimate $470000

The top lot by High estimate is lot 123, Clarence White, Untitled, 1921, estimated at $80000-120000 (image above, via Christie’s).

Here’s the complete list of photographers with three or more lots in the sale, along with the number of lots on offer:

Multiple Lots For Sale
Edward Steichen 11
Alfred Stieglitz 8
Ilse Bing 7
Alvin Langdon Coburn 5
Edward Weston 4
Clarence White 4
Anne Brigman 3
Walker Evans 3

Other lots of interest include (images above, via Christie’s):

Lot 102, Edward Steichen, Heavy Roses, 1914/1950s-1960sestimated at $40000-60000

Lot 154, Germaine Krull, Untitled from Métal, Hamburg, c1925-1928estimated at $10000-15000

Lot 155, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Vortograph, c1917/1958estimated at $10000-15000

The complete lot by lot catalog can be found here.

Alvin Langdon Coburn, Clarence White, Edward Steichen, Germaine Krull, Christie's

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