The New Hampshire Institute of Art is selling a complete volume of photographer, publisher and dealer Alfred Stieglitz’s Camera Work (1909-17), formerly in the collection of German-American photographer and painter Edward Steichen. The work comes from the 2,000-item John Teti rare photography book collection. The piece is expected to achieve a price between $250,000-$350,000 and will sell during Massachusetts-based Skinner Auctioneer’s online Fine Books & Manuscripts sale, which is open to bidders from November 2-12.
Published between 1903-1917, Camera Work was a photography-focused independent quarterly printed magazine conceived and edited by Stieglitz. The artist founded the Photo-Secessionist group in 1902, and the publication marked a seminal move for Stieglitz, as he sought to solidify photography’s status at high art. Featuring an Art Nouveau cover designed by Steichen, the journal published photogravures and halftones, with works by artists in the dealer’s circle, including Frank Eugene, Gertrude Käsebier, Frederick Evans, Alvin Langdon Coburn, and Clarence White, among others.
Later, the publication expanded to featuring modern art. Around this time, Stieglitz was expanding the exhibition program at his New York gallery 291 to showcase painting and sculpture of both American and European artists like Matisse and Picasso as the gallery gained international traction.
Each issue was printed in an edition of 1,000 copies, with the exception of the last two issues, from which 500 copies were printed. In the market, another Camera Work set sold at Sotheby’s in October 2016 for $187,500, against an estimate of $150,000 to $250,000. Phillips New York sold an edition in 2012 for $122,500 and Christie’s sold a complete set in April 2006 for $144,000.