An outstanding plethora of photographs and photobooks are set to star at a New York auction scheduled for this afternoon (December 11). Although the large collection of lots offered exhibit impressive scope in terms of both subject matter and style, the American dream thematically permeates the sale as a whole.
A number of haunting images by 20th century photographer, Paul Strand, feature in the sale, including one of his most famous works, "Wall Street, New York", which carries a presale high end valuation of $18,000.
The platinum palladium print, which measures 25.7 x 32.1cm, depicts several roaming figures frozen in bleak silhouette beside a sprawling architectural behemoth, thought to be a city bank.
Taken in 1915, this early-modernist image warns of the 1929 Wall Street Crash, which would economically ravage America, bringing many of its citizens close to famine for almost a decade.
20th century fashions, figures and fables also run through the collection, which documents the end of existentialism as well as the birth of celebrity. A suite of five iconic Hollywood portraits taken and signed by George Hurrell, and featuring Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth and Bette Davis, carries a $10,000 high estimate.
Equally, the apotheoses to these glamorous and illusory portraits will be present: a San Francisco police department album containing more than 720 mug shots over 60 pages holds a $15,000 high estimate, while a group of eleven circus panoramas displaying the stars of the Hagenback-Wallace Circus has been given a presale valuation of $12,000.
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