Edward Steichen - Photographs New York Tuesday, October 1, 2013 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Collection of Joanna Steichen

  • Literature

    Dumont, Constantin Brancusi, pl. 23 for Endless Column installed in Steichen's Garden

  • Catalogue Essay

    Edward Steichen first moved to France at the turn of the 20th-century, and, while living there intermittently until 1923, he befriended a number of Modern European artists whose work he introduced to an American audience at Alfred Stieglitz’s ‘291 Gallery’ in New York. Among the artists were some of the visionaries who would come to define the field of Modernism, including Auguste Rodin, Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne, and in 1914, the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi. Besides being instrumental in mounting Brancusi’s first American exhibition, Steichen also purchased many of Brancusi’s sculptures, including an early example of a large, hand-hewn Endless Column. In the current lot, viewers see Brancusi’s sculpture in Steichen’s garden in Voulangis, France, most likely being deinstalled by Brancusi in preparation of Steichen’s return to America. Indeed, although Steichen had intended to bring back all of the sculptures by Brancusi that he had purchased to America, Endless Column was too large to make the trip safely. According to Joanna Steichen, Steichen thus returned the work back to its creator and to his surprise, “Brancusi came with a crew and proceeded to cut the column in half…” The current lot offers an unusual, personal and endearing moment in both of the legendary artists’ lives.


Brancusi, Endless Column in Steichen's Garden, Voulangis, France

circa 1923
Gelatin silver print.
9 x 7 7/8 in. (22.9 x 20 cm)
Full sheet 9 3/4 x 7 7/8 in. (24.8 x 20 cm)

Titled in an unidentified hand in pencil on the verso.

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $75,000

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Kramer Hallett
Worldwide Head, Photographs
+1 212 940 1245


New York 30 September & 1 October 2013