The photograph department at the Museum of Modern Art intends to sell over 400 works over the next nine months with the help of Christie’s. Hoping to garner over $3.6 million for its acquisitions fund, the auction house will be moving photographs by some of the biggest 20th century post-war photographers including Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Edward Weston, Man Ray, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Walker Evans.
“A lot of photographers whose works are being sold, the museum has in depth,” explained by Christie’s International Head of Photographs Darius Himes to artnet News. The move follows long-term consideration in efforts to release works not central to the artists’ practices and to refine the collection overall, which will serve to benefit many a ready collector. “This is such a rare opportunity for collectors to own a piece of history,” stated Himes.
While Christie’s and MoMA have worked together previously, this will be the first photography-based collaboration. Following MoMA’s selection, Christie’s provided the estimates and market value potential. The lots will range from $1,000 to $300,000, and will be offered in a series of predominantly online, thematic and single-artist auctions beginning in autumn and continuing through spring 2018, with Himes adding that their online platform draws the largest portion of new clients.
A selection of the photographs will be exhibited in previews across San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York as of September, including eagerly anticipated lots including two of Man Ray’s Rayographs (1923 and 1928) estimated at $200,000 to $300,000 and $150,000 to $250,000 respectively, which will be on sale on 10 October.