Ruth Orkin - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 11, 2023 | Phillips

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  • Ruth Orkin’s Bike Trip series, the subject of curator and art historian Clément Chéroux's current exhibition at Fondation Henri-Cartier Bresson in Paris, captures the fierce independence and intrepid spirit which would define her career as a photographer and filmmaker. Orkin embarked on the solo journey at just 17, travelling from the Pacific to the Atlantic with her camera, her bicycle, and $25. The numerous self-portraits Orkin took on this monumental journey prophesize American Girl in Italy, an iconic study of a woman travelling alone, but reflect her intimate approach to the medium of photography.


    Fondation Henri-Cartier Bresson’s exhibition, Ruth Orkin: Bike Trip, USA, 1939, opened on 19 September and will be on view through 14 January 2024.

    • Provenance

      Directly from the Ruth Orkin Photo Archive, New York

    • Literature

      Hatje Cantz, Ruth Orkin, A Photo Spirit, p. 21


My Bike in San Francisco

Gelatin silver print.
7 1/2 x 9 7/8 in. (19.1 x 25.1 cm)
Signed, titled, and dated in ink on the mount; credit '65 Central Park West' stamp on the reverse of the mount; additional credit and copyright credit stamps, various annotations in pencil, and a typed caption 'Taken in San Francisco with a Pilot 6, while on a Youth Hostel trip' affixed to the verso.

Full Cataloguing

$2,000 - 3,000 

Sold for $2,794

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs


Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 11 October 2023