Blue Earth
Glazer's Camera

Sotheby's Sees Record Photography Auction


An Edward Steichen photograph, "The Pond, Moonlight," recently sold at Sotheby's New York for just over $2.9 million, easily setting a world record for the highest-priced photograph ever auctioned, according to the auction house.

The final bid on Steichen's "Pond," one of only three known prints of this image, was almost three times its high estimate of $1 million. The purchaser was Peter MacGill, of Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York city, on behalf of a private collector.

The February sale featured 113 photography lots from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, including works from the Gilman Paper Co. collection. In total, the photographs sold for nearly $15 million, about three times higher than the initial estimated valuation of $4 to $6 million. With 91 percent of the lots selling for more than their high estimates, and an average lot value of $132,592, the two-day event set a record total for a photography sale.

Among the late 19th- and early 20th-century works auctioned off were two Alfred Stieglitz photographs of Georgia O'Keeffe, "Hands," sold at $1.47 million, and "Nude," which brought $1.36 million, both of which went to a West Coast dealer. "Hands" set an artist record, as did three additional photographs, by Margrethe Mather, Paul Outerbridge Jr. and Margaret Bourke-White.