Feb 21, 2019 - Sale 2499

Sale 2499 - Lot 165

Price Realized: $ 18,200
Show Hammer Price?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 12,000 - $ 18,000
DOROTHY NORMAN (1905-1997) & ALFRED STIEGLITZ (1864-1946)
Archive of 49 vintage photographs, 47 of which are by Dorothy Norman; and an elegant portrait of Norman by Stieglitz and a later uncredited print of Stieglitz, Hartley, and Norman. Norman's photographs fall into two categories: the early work, which was greatly influenced by Stieglitz's own abstract photographs and her later images, mainly portraits, of notable artists, performers, philosophers, and literary and cultural figures whom Norman came to know and respect. Silver contact prints, the images measuring 2 3/4x4 to 4 1/4x3 1/4 inches (7x10.1 to 10.8x8.3 cm.), and the reverse, more than half of the unmounted contact prints with Stieglitz's remarks ("Perfect," "YES YES," "Wonderful") or his personal notations "ILY" [I Love You] graphically inscribed numerous times. 1931-57
ACCOMPANIED BY--A trio of books: Intimate Visions, The Photographs of Dorothy Norman. 4to, boards; dust jacket. * Beyond a Portrait, Photographs, Dorothy Norman and Alfred Stieglitz. 4to, boards; dust jacket * Dualities, Dorothy Norman. 8vo, boards; worn. Vp. vd. From the Library of Miles Barth.
AND--A file folder with notes exchanged between Barth and Norman about the exhibition.

Additional Details

The photographs were drawn from Norman's retrospective, "Intimate Visions," at the International Center of Photography, and reveal her professional and personal relationship with Alfred Stieglitz, her mentor and lover, whom she met at the age of 25. Later on, as a mature woman, Norman was a prominent figure in New York City's progressive social and political community of the 1940s. She published and edited a magazine, Twice A Year Press, and wrote a cultural column for the New York Post.

Included are a total of twelve abstract cloud studies that were inspired by Stieglitz's iconic "Equivalents" series, many with his handwritten comments; six are specially mounted prints, in Stieglitz's signature style of display, which contain his enthusiastic notations.

The archive originates from Miles Barth (1950-2017), who was a curator-archivist at the International Center of Photography from 1979 to 1998. Barth was the author of Intimate Visions: The Photographs of Dorothy Norman, and curated the first exhibition dedicated to this pioneering photographer, publisher, and political activist. The photographs were gifted by Norman to Barth, and both of their handwritten notations and cropping directions appear throughout the archive.

Barth was keenly aware of Norman's central role as an independent female voice. As the title of the book suggests, Norman was not simply a muse to the father of modernism but an astute observer of artistic and cultural currents who explored photography as form of artistic expression. Each portrait is rendered with a sensitivity that informed her special journey as a photographer and activist.