Past Timed Auction


Soft close begins Mon, Jun 29, 2020 at 10am EDT
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Multiple World Auction Records for Gordon Parks

  • Timed Auction of Photographs Closing on June 29, 2020
  • World Auction Record Achieved for Gordon Parks and Multiple Auction Records for Images
  • Consignments Are Currently Being Accepted for Future Auctions

NEW YORK, NY -- Doyle's auction of Photographs on June 29, 2020 saw competitive bidding on wide range of materials, including major Civil War and 20th century images, property from an International Corporation, and contemporary photography from the collection of Joseph Salvatore LaPolla Jr., among many other consignors.

Gordon Parks

Highlighting the sale was a group of nine photographs by Gordon Parks (1912-2006) that drew intense competition from collectors and dealers alike. Property of The College of New Rochelle, this exceptional collection of large-format images by Parks included his American Gothic [Ella Watson], 1942, and Emerging Man, Harlem, 1952, each selling for the identical price of $25,625 -- A World Auction Record for the Artist.

American Gothic depicts Ella Watson, who worked on the cleaning crew at the Farm Service Agency in Washington, DC. By his account in a 1964 oral interview, Parks recalled, “I took her into this woman’s office and there was the American flag and I stood her up with her mop hanging down with the American flag hanging down Grant Wood style and did this marvelous portrait…” Time magazine included American Gothic in its list of the 100 Most Influential Photographs and wrote that "It served as an indictment of the treatment of African Americans by accentuating the inequality in 'The land of the free' and came to symbolize life in pre-civil-rights America.”

Many of Parks’ later classic images were taken for Life photo-essays, such as his 1952 Emerging Man, part of the series of images for a photo-essay titled A Man Becomes Invisible, inspired by his friend Ralph Ellison’s novel, Invisible Man. While that novel regarded an unnamed African-American man who lives underground and slowly returns to the world, similarly Parks’ image evokes this transition from darkness to light and is powerful in its message.

Of the other seven photographs by Parks in the auction from the same collection, each realized an auction record for the image. They included Sunday Morning, 1947, that sold for $24,375; Red Jackson, Harlem, New York, 1948 that realized $22,500; and Muhammad Ali, 1966 that fetched $20,625, all selling over ten times their respective estimates of between $1,000 and $2,500.

Read an essay by Peter Costanzo on the life and work of Gordon Parks who "saw that the camera could be a weapon against poverty, against racism, against all sorts of social wrongs." Read More

19th Century Photography

The first portion of the sale included a fine collection of 19th century images pertaining to the American Civil War. An example of Anthony Gardner’s famous image, Abraham Lincoln and General George McClellan at Antietam, October 3, 1862 sold for $5,375. Another image attributed to Gardner of a Black military band made $4,375. A portrait of President Ulysses S. Grant without side whiskers, 1870s, photographer unknown, realized $2,875.

20th Century Photography

Helmut Newton’s (1920-2004) iconic diptych, Sie Kommen, Paris, Dressed and Naked, 1981. Likely printed in the 1990s, the pair sold for $33,750. A landmark image in 20th century fashion photography, Sie Kommen [They are Coming] first appeared as a two-page spread in French Vogue in 1981.

Bill Brandt’s Nude, Bent Elbow, London, #36, 1952, printed later, was strongly competed and sold for $6,250

The 1974 photograph Train Crossing the Desert Near Kelso by William A. Garnett (1916-2006) realized $8,125, tripling its $2,000-3,000 estimate. Garnett served as a camera man with the US Army Signal Corp in World War II, and later became a pilot himself, specializing in aerial photography.

The hauntingly elegant image Petit's Service Station, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, 1974, by George Tice (b. 1938) illustrates Tice’s remarkable command of darkroom technique and process. Printed in 1980, the photograph tripled its $2,000-3,000 estimate, selling for $7,500.

Garry Winogrand’s Laughing Woman with Ice Cream Cone, 1968, likely printed 1980, the cover image from his book Women are Beautiful, realized a strong $7,187.

Contemporary Photography

A postcard-size print by the proto-punk photographer Mark Morrisroe of Paul Henderson, 1983, reached $4,500. Zanele Muholi’s fine portrait of Xana Nyilenda, Los Angeles, 2013 attained $5,250.

A unique gelatin silver print by Lisa Oppenheim, Burning of the Imperial Refinery, Oil City, PA., number II, 1876, printed 2012, was contested to well over the high estimate, selling for $7,187.

Two works by another major contemporary women photographer, Alison Rossiter were offered, the unique Haloid Platina, exact expiration date unknown, ca. 1915, processed in 2010 #2, 2002, from her Pour series selling for $6,250, another from her Dip series making $4,625.

With competitive bidding, the sale totaled a successful $410,569 against a pre-sale estimate of $325,840-505,160 with $80% sold by lot and 100% sold by value.

All prices include the Buyer’s Premium.

We Invite You to Auction!

Consignments are currently being accepted for future auctions. We invite you to contact us for a complimentary auction evaluation. Our specialists are always available to discuss the sale of a single item or an entire collection.

For information, please contact Edward Ripley-Duggan at 212-427-4141, ext 234, or Peter Costanzo at ext. 248, or email [email protected]

Consignments are currently being accepted

To have your property evaluated for possible consignment in the next auction, please contact:

Peter Costanzo
212-427-4141, ext 248
[email protected]

Edward Ripley-Duggan
212-427-4141, ext 234
[email protected]

Media Contact

Louis LeB. Webre
SVP, Marketing & Media
212-427-4141, ext 232
[email protected]

  • Estate of Frederieke Sanders Taylor
  • Estate of Gladys Benenson
  • Estate of Richard and Carole Rifkind
  • Property from a Vermont Private Collection
  • Property from the Collection of Dr. Abraham & Carolyn Schlossman
  • Property of a Princeton NJ Private Collector
  • Property of The College of New Rochelle
  • The property of Ben Lyman

A Selection of Auction Highlights