Auction Preview: Selections from the Baio Collection of Photography, April 15, 2010 @Christie’s

One of the fascinating things about using a subject matter genre to organize a collection of photography is that once the collection grows large enough, a startling number of subcategories and relationships become possible, many more than you would ever imagine. Take this group of images of children from the extensive Baio collection: look closely at the catalogue and unexpected patterns will start to emerge – children in nature, children on city streets, children in bed, children at the beach, children with their parents, children as silhouettes, children as babies, children in posed portraits – the list goes on and on. A seemingly simple organizing framework like “children” has enormous possibilities for exploring a broad spectrum of photographic approaches, styles, and pictorial languages, cutting across extended time periods and widely different artists with ease. There are a total of 120 lots on offer in this auction with a total High estimate of $1080500. (Catalog cover at right, via Christie’s website.)

Here’s the statistical breakdown:

Total Low Lots (high estimate up to and including $10000): 98
Total Low Estimate (sum of high estimates of Low lots): $536500

Total Mid Lots (high estimate between $10000 and $50000): 21
Total Mid Estimate: $394000

Total High Lots (high estimate above $50000): 1
Total High Estimate: $150000

The top lot by High estimate is lot 171, Eugène Atget, Joueur d’Orgue, 1898-1899, at $100000-150000. (Cover lot, above.)

Below is the list of photographers with 3 or more lots in the sale (with the number of lots in parentheses):

Henri Cartier-Bresson (6)
Sally Mann (5)
Helen Levitt (4)
Harry Callahan (3)
Bruce Davidson (3)
Philip-Lorca DiCorcia (3)
Lee Friedlander (3)
Lewis Hine (3)
Ralph Eugene Meatyard (3)
Ray Metzker (3)
Yoshitomo Nara (3)
Garry Winogrand (3)

While images of children don’t fit into any of our specific collecting genres, I like the surprise of the girl with the balloon in the lower right hand corner of this Metzker multiple. (Lot 212, Ray Metzker, 59AF-1 (Chicago), 1959/1992, at $7000-9000, at right, via Christie’s website.)

The complete lot by lot catalog can be found here. The eCatalogue is here.

Selections from the Baio Collection of Photography
April 15th

20 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10020

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Read more about: Ray K. Metzker, Christie's

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