Picture Perfect: EJ’s offering mundane yet magical photography

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 Stephen Shore’s photography offers a world where viewers can move their attention through without being directed. Images courtesy of EJ's

Stephen Shore’s photography offers a world where viewers can move their attention through without being directed. Images courtesy of EJ's

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Beauty is found in the everyday.

Vintage photographs of parking lots, gas stations and other urban scenes may seem ordinary, but they are nothing of the sort. Illustrating that point is a wonderful collection of more than two dozen scarce photographs by acclaimed photographers Stephen Shore, Walter Rosenblum, Lewis Hine, Lou Bernstein, Paul Calhoun and Robert (Bud) Glick hitting the auction block Friday, Sept. 13 at EJ’s Auction & Appraisal, 5880 W. Bell Road, Glendale, Ariz.

The collection, belonging to a Tucson art collector who knew many of the photographers personally, features signed black and white and color photographs, as well as gelatin prints ranging in size from 7 inches x 10 inches to 10 inches x 12 inches. Past auction records suggest the photographs could realize between $5,000 and $25,000 each.

A highlight of the auction is a Shore portfolio that includes 12 original photographs. Shore was called “one of the most significant photographers of our time” by the Museum of Modern Art, which mounted a major retrospective of his work in 2017. While the portfolio is missing six artist proofs, it is expected to draw strong interest from serious collectors.

 Lou Bernstein, “Washington Square Park,” 1953.

Lou Bernstein, “Washington Square Park,” 1953.

“Stephen Shore’s photography is highly sought after,” said Erik Hoyer, EJ’s Auction & Appraisal’s owner and certified auctioneer. “He was a pioneering figure in a movement known as New Topographics, or urban photography of mundane, everyday scenes.

“Shore is also well known for his ‘on the road’ American and Canadian landscape photography, and he is recognized as one of the leading photographers who established color photography as an art form,” Hoyer said. “In addition, when he was younger, he spent more than two years photographing Andy Warhol and the Factory scene.”

Rosenblum is best known for photographing the World War II D-Day landing in Normandy in 1944. He was also the first Allied photographer to enter the liberated Dachau concentration camp. Rosenblum’s black and white photographs in the auction include a photograph of the famous photographer Paul Strand.

 Waler Rosenblum, “Gypsy Children Playing Cards,Pitt Street, New York, 1938.”

Waler Rosenblum, “Gypsy Children Playing Cards,Pitt Street, New York, 1938.”

Photographer Lewis Hine was born in Oshkosh, Wis., in 1874. His father died when Hine was a young man, forcing him to support the family. His first job was in a furniture upholstery factory where he worked 13 hours a day, six days a week, earning $4 per week. Hine was destined to have a unique outlook on life.

“He achieved fame for photographing the construction of the Empire State Building in New York City,” Hoyer said, adding that Hine would hang from cherry-pickers 100 stories high to achieve spectacular aerial views. “He also used his camera as a tool for social reform and his photographs were instrumental in changing child labor laws here in the United States.”

A free preview for the special catalog auction is set from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 11-12. The auction house will open at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 13, with the live auction starting at 11 a.m. Online bidding is also available. For details, or to learn about EJ’s weekly Saturday auctions, visit www.ejsauction.com or call 623-878-2003.

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