Alfred Stieglitz - The Odyssey of Collecting: Photographs from Joy of Giving Something Foundation, Part 1 New York Monday, April 3, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Doris Bry, New York, 1994

  • Literature

    Greenough, Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set (Volume Two), no. 1188

  • Catalogue Essay

    This dramatic cityscape was made by Alfred Stieglitz from the apartment he shared with Georgia O’Keeffe in the Shelton Hotel, at Lexington Avenue and 49th Street. The photograph is from a series of city views that Stieglitz made during this time, all from the hotel’s 30th floor, documenting the city in a constant state of change, transformed daily by the passage of light and by progressive development.

    In his essay ‘How Stieglitz Came to Photograph Cityscapes,’ Joel Smith, now photography curator at the Morgan Library, describes these urban views as “a new kind of Equivalent,” referring to the extended series of cloud and sky images Stieglitz executed at his family home at Lake George, New York (History of Photography, Vol. 20, No. 4, Winter 1996). That similarity is reinforced by the size of the photograph offered here, printed in the same size and format as the Equivalents, and by the cloudlike plumes of exhaust generated by the city below.

    In Alfred Stieglitz: The Key Set, Sarah Greenough locates only two other prints of this image: in the National Gallery of Art and in the Stieglitz Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

    This photograph was purchased by Howard Stein from Doris Bry. Bry became Georgia O’Keeffe’s agent in the late 1940s, and assisted the painter in the dispensation of the many photographs in Alfred Stieglitz’s estate. The prints that comprise the Stieglitz Collections at the National Gallery of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and elsewhere, had all passed through Bry’s hands as she selected and prepared them under O’Keeffe’s discriminating eye. Bry became an authority on Stieglitz’s work, as well as O’Keeffe’s, and her knowledge on the two artists was much in demand by scholars, collectors, dealers, and auction houses. Bry and Stein were good friends, and over the years Stein acquired a number of fine pieces directly from her, including lots 48, 70, 73, 75, 82 and 88.


From ‘Room 3003’ - The Shelton, New York, Looking Northeast

Gelatin silver print, flush-mounted and mounted again.
3 1/2 x 4 5/8 in. (8.9 x 11.7 cm)

$40,000 - 60,000 

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The Odyssey of Collecting: Photographs from Joy of Giving Something Foundation, Part 1

New York 3 April 2017