Benefit Auction Preview: George Eastman House, October 4, 2010

Just ahead of the upcoming photography auctions next week in New York, the George Eastman House is having the largest fundraising event in the museum’s history, a massive combo live/online sale of donated photographic material (prints, books, and cameras). While most of the lots are estimated under $10000, the top lot is an Outerbridge still life at $100000.

There are two portions of the benefit sale, a live auction of 93 lots at Sotheby’s on October 4th (catalog here, click on the appropriate tab) and an online auction of 223 lots at iGavel running between now and October 7th (catalog here). The printed catalog for the live auction gives ample billing to the donors of the works, but the lack of lot numbers makes it somehwat difficult to reference specific images. Estimates also seem to be missing from the live auction website, so find a hard copy catalog if you need/want this information; estimates for the online auction can be found in the individual lot details on the iGavel website or in the printed supplement to the live auction catalog.

While benefit auctions aren’t a natural fit for our statistical price analysis (especially since results aren’t usually reported publicly), it doesn’t mean they can’t be a great place to pick up unexpected bargains while supporting a very worthy cause. All in, these are a pair of sales worth checking out, and an important photographic institution that merits your hard earned collecting dollars.

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