Paul Strand - Photographs New York Wednesday, April 6, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "In 1929 Strand went to the Gaspé for a month. Working with a 4 x 5 Graflex he began composing with all landscape elements, developing an exquisite sense for the moment when the moving forces of clouds, people, boats are in perfect relation with the static forms of houses and headlands. In this little series, where the whites blaze in the cold light of the North, that sense of the spirit of place which is implicit in [his] New York and Maine series emerges as the dominant theme of Strand’s work."
    —Nancy Newhall

    This photograph comes from the collection of John Glasse (1922-2014), a pioneering collector from the early days of the photography market and a Professor of Religion Department at Vassar College from 1956 to 1990.  In 1977, Glasse curated an ambitious exhibition of Strand’s work at the Vassar College Art Gallery. Events surrounding this exhibition included a panel discussion with Peter Bunnell, Alan Trachtenberg, and Naomi Rosenblum; a discussion on Strand’s books by his widow, Hazel Strand; and a screening of Strand’s film work.  

     

    Glasse’s interest in Strand arose from his lifelong interest in photography. As a teenager in Alaska in the 1930s, he photographed candid scenes of Juneau’s residents and the Alaskan wilderness and worked as a freelance photographer. During his adult years, he continued photographing and experimenting with different formats and techniques. Glasse began collecting as a young adult and continued to build and rotate his collection through the 1980s, focusing on major Twentieth Century photographers. The work of Paul Strand was a particular interest and Glasse curated an exhibition of Strand’s photographs at the Vassar College Art Gallery in 1977. He enjoyed corresponding with the artists in his collection to learn the background story of specific images and to share his appreciation of their work. In several instances he purchased directly from the photographers, in addition to patronizing the first generation of photography galleries in New York City, including Witkin Gallery and LIGHT.  

     

    While Vassar College offered no formal training in photography during Glasse’s tenure, he served as an advisor to students pursuing independent study projects in the medium. In 1977 he said, ‘Photography is one of the ways I find myself exploring the world. And by making my own photographs and seeing the work of others, I am exploring the medium itself. In terms of photography qua academic, as a philosopher of religion, I am engaged by the relation between aesthetics and religion. The theology of culture and the philosophy of religion have not been applied to photography. I would like to make a contribution to filling that gap.’

    • Provenance

      Collection of John Glasse, Poughkeepsie, New York, before 1981
      By descent to the present owner

    • Literature

      Aperture, Paul Strand, Sixty Years of Photographs, p. 43
      Aperture, Paul Strand: A Retrospective Monograph Volume I: The Years 1915 – 1946, p. 80

238

Fishing Village, Gulf of the St. Lawrence, Gaspé

1929
Gelatin silver print, flush-mounted and affixed to a secondary mount.
3 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. (8.9 x 11.4 cm)
Signed, titled and dated in ink on an additional attached mount.

Full Cataloguing

Estimate
$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $25,200

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs
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Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas
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Photographs

New York Auction 6 April 2022