Paul Strand - Inside the Photograph: Further Selections from the Peter C. Bunnell Collection New York Tuesday, October 10, 2023 | Phillips

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  • The remarkable selection of photographs offered in this online auction comes from the collection of Peter C. Bunnell (1937-2021), the pioneering curator, teacher, and photographic historian. Nearly all lots are sold with No Reserve and the proceeds will be distributed to six institutions with whom Bunnell was associated — Rochester Institute of Technology, Ohio University, Yale University, The George Eastman Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, and Princeton University Art Museum — to establish endowments to support the study of photographic history.


    Bunnell began his long career in photography as a student of Minor White’s at the Rochester Institute of Technology in the 1950s and was recruited by White to work on the seminal periodical of artistic photography, Aperture. He joined the staff of The Museum of Modern Art in 1966 as a collection cataloguer, becoming Associate Curator and then Curator of Photography. At MoMA he curated the noteworthy exhibitions Photography as Printmaking (1968), Photography into Sculpture (1970), and the first retrospective of the work of Clarence H. White (1971). In 1972, he was hired as the inaugural David Hunter McAlpin Professor of the History of Photography and Modern Art at Princeton University. 


    Bunnell served as Director of the Princeton University Art Museum from 1973 to 1978, and as Acting Director from 1998 to 2000, and was also the Museum’s Curator of Photography throughout the entirety of his tenure. Bunnell built a broad-ranging collection of photographs at the Museum, the firsthand examination of which became a central element of the student experience in his classes and seminars. Bunnell also assembled a personal collection of photography over the course of his long career that reflects his vast and deep understanding of the medium. Begun in the 1950s, before photography galleries and dealers were commonplace, Bunnell’s collection is a deeply personal one, put together with a sense of joy and curiosity that includes both icons and lesser-known gems spanning the history of photography.

    • Provenance

      Collection of Peter C. Bunnell, Princeton, New Jersey

    • Literature

      Viganò, Strand + Rosenblum: Corrispondenze elettive / Enduring Friendship, pp. 28-32
      Aperture, Paul Strand: Essays on His Life and Work, p. 52, 115-199, 187
      Aperture, Paul Strand: A Retrospective Monograph, The Years 1915-1946, vol. 1, pp. 104-125
      Aperture, Paul Strand: Sixty Years of Photographs, pp. 155, 160
      Greenough, Paul Strand: An American Vision, pp. 89-99
      Daniel, Stieglitz, Steichen, Strand: Masterworks from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, pl. 114-119
      Each citation for various prints within the portfolio

    • Catalogue Essay

      The photographs included in this lot are as follows:

      Near Saltillo, 1932
      Church, Caopiaxtla, 1933
      Virgin, San Felipe, Oaxaca, 1933
      Women of Santa Anna, Michoacan, 1933
      Men of Santa Anna, Michoacan, 1933
      Woman, Patzcuaro, 1933
      Boy, Uruapan, 1933
      Cristo, Oaxaca, 1933
      Woman and Boy, Tenancingo, 1933
      Plaza, State of Puebla, 1933
      Man with a Hoe, Los Remedios, 1933
      Calvario, Patzcuaro, 1933
      Cristo, Tlacochoaya, Oaxaca, 1933
      Boy, Hidalgo, 1933
      Woman and Baby, Hidalgo, 1933
      Girl and Child, Toluca, 1933
      Cristo with Thorns, Huexotla, 1933
      Man, Tenancingo, 1933
      Young Woman and Boy, Toluca, 1933
      Gateway, Hidalgo, 1933

Inside the Photograph: Further Selections from the Peter C. Bunnell Collection


Lot offered with No Reserve

The Mexican Portfolio

New York: Da Capo Press, 1967. Twenty hand-coated photogravures.
Varying sizes from 5 x 6 1/4 in. (12.7 x 15.9 cm) to 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm) or the reverse
Printed introduction by Leo Hurwitz, acknowledgements by Strand, essay by David Alfaro Siqueiros, and plate list. Enclosed within a linen portfolio and slipcase with black printed title. One from an edition of 1,000. This example is unsigned.

Full Cataloguing

$1,500 - 2,500 

Sold for $1,080

Contact Specialist

Christopher Mahoney
Senior International Specialist

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairwoman

Inside the Photograph: Further Selections from the Peter C. Bunnell Collection

10 - 17 October 2023