Five Phenomenal Photo Sales to Watch for This October

From historical daguerreotypes to contemporary art photography, these are the unmissable photo auctions this month.

Eugène Atget, Nymphéas (circa 1910). Courtesy of Sotheby's.

The twice-yearly New York photography auctions kicked off a bit earlier than usual this season with last week’s dedicated sale of postwar and contemporary photographs at Sotheby’s. But the wide-ranging array of offerings continues throughout the week, ranging from historical 19th-century works and photobooks to 20th-century masters to contemporary art photography. With the help of the artnet Price Database, we’ve rounded up four key sales in New York—plus one in London—to watch for during the month ahead.

October 3, 2017


Masterpieces of Design & Photography at Christie’s London

This auction will showcase masterworks of the 20th and 21st centuries while telling the story of the extraordinary expansion of creativity in both design and photography from 1865 to the present day. It includes work by artists such as Diane Arbus, Gilbert & George, Andreas Gursky, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Jean Prouvé, and many more.


October 3, 2017

Robert Frank, <i>Paris</i> (1949). Courtesy Phillips.

Robert Frank, Paris (1949). Courtesy of Phillips.

The Odyssey of Collecting: Photographs from Joy of Giving Something Foundation at Phillips New York

This season, Phillips presents the second installment of “The Odyssey of Collecting: Photographs from Joy of Giving Something Foundation,” spanning three centuries of photography. Assembled by JGS’s founder, Howard Stein, the sale includes rare and unique works by true masters of the medium. Among the highlights are photos by Eugène Atget, Edward Steichen, Imogen Cunningham, Robert Frank, and László Moholy-Nagy.


October 5, 2017

Philip Haas, <i>John Quincy Adams</i> (1843). Courtesy Sotheby's.

Philip Haas, John Quincy Adams (1843).
Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Photographs at Sotheby’s New York

Sotheby’s main photographs auction showcases an exciting and diverse range of artists from the 19th and 20th centuries. The sale is led by a selection of mesmerizing daguerreotypes from the collection of Stanley B. Burns, MD. Significant 19th-century works include photographs by Eugène Atget, Gustave Le Gray, and the important Philip Haas daguerreotype of John Quincy Adams. Luminaries including Edward Weston, Robert Frank, and Ansel Adams are well represented here as well, as are inventive early works by Frederick Sommer, Aaron Siskind, and Harry Callahan. Modern highlights include a strong selection of photographs by William Eggleston, Robert Mapplethorpe, and Robert Heinecken.


October 10, 2017

Edward Weston, <i>Dunes,Oceano</i> (1936). Courtesy Christies.

Edward Weston, Dunes,Oceano (1936). Courtesy of Christies.

Important Photographs from the Collection of Donald and Alice Lappé at Christies New York

As part of the series of photography sales Christie’s is offering this fall, “The Collection of Donald and Alice Lappé” is one not to miss. This venerable collection includes photographs by Edward Weston, Edward Steichen, Ansel Adams, and others, with property estimates ranging from $3,000 to $600,000. The sale’s top lot is Edward Weston’s Betty in Her Attic, 1920 ($600,000-$900,000). Additional highlights include Dorothea Lange’s Migratory Cotton Picker, Eloy, Arizona, 1940 ($100,000-$150,000); Edward Steichen’s Rodin – Le Penseur,1902 ($300,000-$500,000); and Imogen Cunningham’s Magnolia Blossom, 1925 ($100,000-$200,000).


October 11, 2017

Ansel Adams, <i>El Capitan, Sunrise, Winter, Yosemite National Park, California</i>(1968). Courtesy Heritage.

Ansel Adams, El Capitan, Sunrise, Winter, Yosemite National Park, California (1968). Courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

Photographs Signature Auction at Heritage Auctions New York

This October, Heritage Auctions New York offers an extensive collection that includes notable works such as photographs from Ansel Adams’s “Yosemite” series, Steve McCurry’s iconic Afghan Girl, and other famous 20th-century images.


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