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  • Provenance

    The Paul Strand Archive, New York
    Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York
    Private Collection, New York

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the 1950s Paul Strand’s photography took on an enhanced humanism. He had left the United States disillusioned by McCarthyism to photograph in France, Italy, the Outer Hebrides, Egypt, and Ghana, creating photographic cultural studies that were published in a series of books. The signature image from Strand’s Italian series, published on the cover of his book on the country, Un Paese, is The Family, Luzzara. The photographs offered here and in lot 118 focus on two individuals from that famous image: the mother, Anna Spaggiari Lusetti, and one of her sons. While the group portrait portrays the family as a single unit, linked by blood, history, and family resemblance, the portraits offered here are penetrating individual character studies.

    Anna Lusetti had married at 18, and given birth to 15 children. She lost her husband in 1933 and was forced to raise her large family on her own in an increasingly unstable political and economic climate. All but one of her sons served in the army during World War II, several suffering injury and imprisonment. Afterwards, the family was hit hard by the post-war deprivation of their country. When Strand photographed them in 1953, Anna and her sons were renting a dilapidated farmhouse and struggling as tenant farmers. These portraits, of mother and son, embody their subjects’ perseverance in the face of adversity, a quality that is the hallmark of Strand’s best images from this period.

117

The Mother, Luzzara, Italy

1953
Gelatin silver print.
5 3/4 x 4 1/2 in. (14.6 x 11.4 cm)
Credited, initialed 'HS' and annotated 'master' by Hazel Strand in pencil on the reverse of the flush-mount.

Estimate
$7,000 - 9,000 

Sold for $8,750

Contact Specialist
Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairman, Americas

General Enquiries
+1 212 940 1245

Photographs

New York Auction 4 October 2018