Christies Photography Book Auction.. Thursday April 10th.. With prices not to be believed!
One of MAO's many obsessions.. is collecting first edition signed photography monographs. And while there are tons of Contemporary Art and Photography auctions coming soon to
be very worried blog about, it's important to see a major auction house conducting one of their first significant Photographic Art Book Auctions. We at MAO think photo monographs are one of the only few undervalued art collectibles out there.. and this Christies auction will mark a milestone for the art world.
Just a few reasons to pay-attention to collecting Photo books...
- Early want-to-be art collector, since the can't afford the actual photographic art works.. an easy and interesting compromise is to collect the photo books. They are cheap (most are only $25 to $50), and if you go to a book signing.. you can get them signed for free!! YEA!!
- Over the last few years, as art book publishing has become a totally money loosing business.. Many publishers are gone, and collectors have realized.. these photo books are hard to get, and undervalued.
- The world is going totally digital, and electronic/on-line books are going to become the norm.
- Artists first books are frequently small editions, represent the artists most important work. Many of these monographs have gotten destroyed as general circulation copies at public libraries, and coffee table books. Hence artist signed first edition books in good condition have become very rare.
- The artist monograph is an important part of art history, it allows you to see the artists full vision, and comprehend a total artistic project.
- Photo books frequently force artists to edit their photographic material to their strongest images.
- Most used book stores are long gone.. So there are actually only a few places to even buy these old monographs. Hence Christies has begun to enter the photography book auction business.
It looks like some huge records are about to be set.. it's a very high quality Photo book auction coming up at Christies on April 10th. Some of the MAO highlights are :
- Lot 7 - Paul Strand - Camera Work #49/50, June 1917.. Est $20,000 - $30,000
- Lot 34 - Brassai - Paris d Nuit, 1st edition, signed by Brassai - 1933 ... Est $35,000 - $45,000
- Lot 44 - Man Ray - Facile, Signed by Man Ran & Paul Eluard, 1935 ... Est $30,000 - $40,000
- Lot 62 - Berenice Abbott - Changing New York, Signed by Abbott, 1939 ... Est $10,000 - $15,000
- Lot 82 - Henri Cartier-Bresson, The Decisive Moment, Singed by Cartier-Bresson to Edward Weston, 1952, Est $20,000 - $30,000
- Lot 96 - Robert Frank, The Americans, 1st American Edition (unsigned), 1960, Est.. $10,000 - $15,000
- Lot 189 - Joel Sternfeld, American Prospects, 1st Edition, signed, 1987 Est... $10,000 - $15,000
But the catalog essay by Andrew Roth, astutely points out..
"... this is the first major collection offered at public auction, and at present there isn't a significant public holding of inscribed or association copies of rare photobooks in the US."
(photo of CARTIER-BRESSON, Henri. The Decisive Moment. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1952. Folio (14.25 x 10.5 inches), original boards, original dust jacket)
So what do you think... Time to buy?