Minor White - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 14, 2020 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private Collection, California

  • Literature

    White, Mirrors, Messages, Manifestations, p. 37
    Aperture, Minor White: Rites & Passages, p. 69

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the years directly following World War II, in which he served in the Pacific, Minor White began to explore photography as a tool for unlocking the mysteries of both the visible and spiritual worlds. His technical understanding of the medium was comprehensive and was such that Ansel Adams appointed him his successor at the California School of Fine Arts in 1946. White’s photographic practice was inspired by Alfred Stieglitz, whose series of Equivalents were of great interest to him, and by Adams and Edward Weston. His spiritual pursuits were informed by both traditional and esoteric Christian thought as well as Buddhism. He organized his photographs in Sequences – groupings of images that created a non-linear narrative. Burning Bush, offered here, appeared in his series titled Amputations. With its biblical reference to the manifestation of the divine, it is the quintessential Minor White photograph. It is offered here as a rare early print.

Transcendence: Photography and the Sublime


Burning Bush, Vicinity of Stinson Beach, California

Gelatin silver print, likely printed in the 1940s.
3 5/8 x 4 5/8 in. (9.2 x 11.7 cm)
Signed in pencil on the mount.

$5,000 - 7,000 

Sold for $6,250

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairwoman, Americas



New York Auction 14 October 2020