E.J. Bellocq - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 14, 2020 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Collection of Al Rose, author and New Orleans historian
    By descent to his son, Rex Rose
    Julie Saul Gallery, New York, 2002

  • Exhibited

    E.J. Bellocq: Storyville Portraits, Julie Saul Gallery, New York, 13 December 2001- 2 February 2002

  • Literature

    Rose, Storyville, New Orleans (University of Alabama Press, 1974), p. 78, likely this print

  • Catalogue Essay

    E.J. Bellocq was the photographic chronicler of New Orleans’s historic red-light district in the early 1900s. While little is known about Bellocq, his sensitive portraits are perhaps the most evocative documents of this place and time. Only a handful of period prints of Bellocq’s photographs exist. His work was lost for much of the twentieth century until its rediscovery by the photographer Lee Friedlander who, with The Museum of Modern Art curator John Szarkowski, mounted an exhibition and published a book of the work in 1970.

    The photograph offered here pre-dates Friedlander’s discovery and comes originally from the collection of author and New Orleans historian, Al Rose. Rose had purchased the contents of Bellocq’s studio in 1949, including the photographer’s negatives. He used prints of selected images to illustrate his now-classic book, Storyville, New Orleans. Of the elusive photographer, Rose wrote: “Bellocq exhibited a sensibility, a feeling for his subjects, that forbade treating them as mere objects and that elevated his photographs to the level of art” (p. 60).


Marguerite Griffin, Storyville, New Orleans

circa 1912
Gelatin silver print, probably printed in the 1960s.
11 3/8 x 9 1/2 in. (28.9 x 24.1 cm)

$7,000 - 9,000 

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairwoman, Americas



New York Auction 14 October 2020