Stieglitz's Georgia O'Keeffe tops photography auction at $557,000

Alfred Stieglitz's Georgia O'Keeffe: A Portrait - Torso has seen the highest bids in Sotheby's Photographs auction, which was held on October 2 in New York.

Alfred Stieglitz Georgia O'Keeffe Portrait
Stieglitz was O'Keeffe's husband, and he photographed her obsessively

The lot, one of only three known prints and the only example remaining in private hands, sold for $557,000, making an 11.4% increase on its $500,000 high estimate.

Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946) married painter Georgia O'Keefe (1887-1986) in 1924, after which she became the central subject of his work. He took thousands of portraits of O'Keeffe, which represent some of the most intimate and arresting examples of his portraiture.

Ansel Adams Grand Tetons
Adams is best known for his imposing black and white landscapes

The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, a monumental landscape from Ansel Adams, sold for $401,000 to bring the second highest bids of the auction. The price represents a 14.5% increase on the $350,000 high estimate.

The 1942 piece, measuring 39.5 by 51.5 inches, is a typically stunning specimen of Adams' work, which is characterised by clarity and depth. It was one of five such mural-sized pieces featured in the auction, with Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California selling for $185,000 and Leaves, Mt  Rainier National Park, WA bringing $137,000.  

Selling for $245,000 was Lazlo Moholy-Nagy's Fotogramm (Hand), which demonstrates the photographer's experiments with exposing light sensitive paper with objects overlain on top of it. With the technique now commonly used among photographers, these "photograms" are some of the most sought-after pieces of his work.

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