Richard Avedon's The Family to see $250,000 at Christie's

Christie's is to hold an auction dedicated to the work of Richard Avedon on October 4 in New York, which will be highlighted by his 1976 portfolio, The Family.

Richard Avedon The Family 1976 Rolling Stone
A composite portrait of America's power elite

The Family, a portfolio of 69 black and white portraits, was realised after Rolling Stone magazine asked the renowned photographer to cover the presidential primaries and campaign trail. Avedon rejected the idea, and instead photographed those who he believed made up the US' political, financial and corporate elite.

For the best part of 1976, Avedon travelled across the United States composing his outstanding portfolio, the contents of which he stated "are a composite portrait of the power elite". It contains photographs of presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan and Bush as well as W Mark Felt - the whistleblower on the Watergate scandal - and activist Ralph Nadar among many others.

The portfolio arrived at Rolling Stone too late for the United States Bicentennial issue as originally planned, however the photographs were published on October 21, 1976, shortly before the November elections. With an estimate of $250,000 and 2012 also being an election year, Christie's can expect excellent results.

Also featuring is Avedon's classic psychedelic portraits of the Beatles, all four of which will be sold in a combined lot for $100,000-150,000. Sharing this estimate is his vulnerable depiction of Marilyn Monroe, which is numbered 26 in an edition of 50.

Holding the highest valuation in the sale is the earliest recorded print of Dancing with Elephants - Avedon's most celebrated fashion image. The arresting 1955 piece will sell with a $200,000-300,000 estimate.

Bidders will also have the chance to purchase Avedon's portrayal of Bob Dylan when it appears at another October 4 auction in New York.

Paul Fraser Collectibles is currently offering a Yousuf Karsh signed copy of Karsh a Fifty-Year Retrospective, which collates the finest works of one of the greatest portrait photographers of all time.

See the results of this sale here.

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