24.6.10

SOTHEBY'S BREAKS SALES RECORDS WITH POLAROID CORPORATE COLLECTION


A HISTORIC SALE OF WORKS BY SOME OF THE BIGGEST NAMES IN 20tH CENTURY PHOTOGRAPHY SET RECORDS DURING A TWO-DAY AUCTION OF ICONIC IMAGES FROM THE POLAROID CORPORATE COLLECTION. THE AUCTION OF MORE THAN 1,000 PHOTOGRAPHS BROUGHT $12.4 MILLION, EXCEEDING ITS PRE-SALE ESTIMATE OF UP TO $10.7 MILLION, SOTHEBY'S AUCTION HOUSE SAID IN A STATEMENT. FOURTEEN NEW ARTIST RECORDS WERE SET, INCLUDING ONES FOR A PHOTOGRAPH BY ANSEL ADAMS, LUCAS SAMARAS, ANDY WARHOL AND HARRY CALLAHAN. ADAMS' 'CLEARING WINTER STORM, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK', A MOODY BLACK AND WHITE MURAL-SIZE PRINT OF THE PARK'S RUGGED, ROCKY TERRAIN, SOLD FOR $722,500. IT SHATTERED THE PREVIOUS AUCTION RECORD OF $609,600 FOR HIS 'MOONSHINE, HERNANDEZ NEW MEXICO', FROM 1941, SET IN 2006. 'CLEARING WINTER STORM' HAD BEEN ESTIMATED TO SELL FOR $300-500,000. THE RECORD FOR SAMARAS WAS FOR HIS 'ULTRA-LARGE (HANDS)' A MURAL-SIZE POLAROID COLOUR PRINT THAT WENT FOR $194,500. IT WAS TAKEN WITH A 40in BY 80in POLAROID, AND IMMENSE CAMERA THAT REQUIRED THE ASSISTANCE OF SEVERAL TECHNICIANS. THE PREVIOUS SAMARAS RECORD WAS $132,000 FOR 'TRANSFORMATION: EYEGLASSES', SET IN 1989. AUCTION RECORDS FOR A PHOTOGRAPH BY WARHOL WERE BROKEN TWICE. 'SELF-PORTRAIT (EYES CLOSED)' SOLD FOR $254,500, SURPASSING AN EARLIER RECORD OF $145,500 FOR 'SELF PORTRAIT (GRIMACE)', A UNIQUE LARGE-FORMAT POLAROID POLACOLOR PRINT. A NON-POLAROID WORK, CALLAHAN'S 'CHICAGO (TREES IN SNOW), SOLD FOR $254,500, SURPASSING HIS PREVIOUS RECORD OF $168,000 FOR 'ELEANOR', A SUITE OF THREE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE ARTIST'S WIFE. RECORD FOR PHOTOGRAPHS ALSO WERE SET FOR CHUCK CLOSE, ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG AND DAVID HOCKNEY, SOARING FOUR OR MORE TIMES ABOVE THEIR PRE-SALE ESTIMATES. SOTHEBY'S SAID THE PHOTOGRAPHS ON SALE, SELECTED FROM THE VAST 16,000 IMAGE POLAROID COLLECTION, CONTAINED THE LARGEST AND BEST COLLECTION OF WORKS BY ANSEL ADAMS TO EVER COME ON THE MARKET. ALL 1,000 WORKS WERE BEING SOLD BY PBE CORP, FORMALLY POLAROID CORP, WHICH BECAME A VICTIM NOT ONLY OF A CHANGING TECHNOLOGY BUT ALSO A $3.7 BILLION PONZI SCHEME IN 2005. PBE FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY, AND LAST YEAR A MINNESOTA BANKRUPTCY COURT APPROVED THE PARTIAL SALE OF THE COLLECTION TO HELP PAY OFF CREDITORS. THE POLAROID CAMERA CAME ON THE MARKET IN 1948, THE INVENTION OF EDWIN H LAND.

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