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  • Provenance

    Gift of the artist to Dr. Ernest Born, circa 1940
    Estate of Ernest Born
    Collection of Jon and Jamie Gipe
    Sotheby's, New York, 11 October 2005, lot 139

  • Literature

    Davis, The Art of Frederick Sommer: Photography, Drawings, Collage, p. 38
    Denver Art Museum, Frederick Sommer: The Mistress of This World Has No Name, p. 43
    Nazraeli Press, Frederick Sommer: Son of the Box , n.p.

  • Catalogue Essay

    This photograph comes originally from the collection of Dr. Ernest Born, Frederick Sommer’s physician, an amateur photographer, and the supplier of this and other unusual subject matter for Sommer’s camera. In 1940, Dr. Born gave Sommer a “perfectly formed placenta from the easiest birthing he had ever attended” (The Art of Frederick Sommer, pl. 222). The resulting image, tonally precise and filled with detail, takes its place within a series of rigorous still life studies Sommer executed in the late 1930s and early 1940s. The photograph offered here is believed to be the earliest extant print of the image. The J. Paul Getty Museum owns another print.

166

Placenta

1940
Gelatin silver print, mounted.
9 1/2 x 7 5/8 in. (24.1 x 19.4 cm)

Estimate
$30,000 - 50,000 

Contact Specialist
Rachel Peart
Specialist
+1 212 940 1246

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairman, Americas

General Enquiries:
+1 212 940 1245

The Odyssey of Collecting: Photographs from Joy of Giving Something Foundation

New York 3 October 2017