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Kaminski's May 16 Photography sale features Weegee, other greats

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Written by Auction House PR   
Friday, 04 May 2012 11:35

Photograph of Fidel Castro playing baseball, 10 inches x 8 inches. Originally owned by Argentina Estevez. Kaminski's image.

BEVERLY, Mass. - Kaminski Auctions' newly established Photography department will hold its debut sale May 16, commencing at 6 p.m. Eastern Time, at their gallery in Beverly, Mass. will provide the Internet live bidding.

The auction includes modern photography by iconic names like Weegee, Helmut Newton, Michael Rockefeller and Imogen Cunningham. There are original photographs of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and powerful images of the atomic bomb explosions that were part of the Manhattan Project. Additionally, there are vintage photographs by well-known Boston photographers, including daguerreotypes by Southworth and Hawes, John A. Whipple, and Niagara Falls by Babbitt.

Eight images by the iconic photographer and photojournalist Arthur Fellig (June 1899-December 1968) better known as Weegee are the featured lots. Famous for his stark, black and white images of urban life in the 1940s, his work was a realistic journal of crime, suffering and life in the streets of New York City. Weegee worked in film as well, with such notable directors as Stanley Kubrick. His images are highly sought after, and are found in the photography collections of the most prestigious museums in the country including the Getty museum and MoMA.

20th century photography includes entries by Eliot Porter, Man Ray, and A.P. Rosenthal, of the American Flag being raised at Iwo Jima. There is also a large lot of photographs of Fidel Castro and his family at leisure, once owned by fellow revolutionary Argentina Estevez. Other highlights include a Herb Ritts photograph of Denzel Washington, signed by the actor; and a botanical nautilus attributed to Imogen Cunningham.

Consigned by the family of a scientist who worked on the atomic bomb is a rare and important Manhattan Project collection of photography, letters, schematics, negatives and aerial shots of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan; and images of the 1946 Bikini Atoll test. Another highlight is a collection of photographs by Fritz Goro, science photographer for Life magazine.

Vintage photographs include a wonderful and extremely rare whole plate Daguerreotype attributed to Boston photographer John A. Whipple, with Governor of Massachusetts and George S. Boutwell, 20th Governor of Massachusetts, presiding over important legislation at the Massachusetts Senate Convention. Boutwell also served in Congress representing Massachusetts during the Civil War. The image is in a black thermoplastic frame.

Other interesting lots are a half plate ambrotype of Niagara Falls by Babbitt in a scarce gutta percha case and a quarter plate ambrotype in a gutta percha case of two images of Nelson Geary, Union Solider from New Jersey. The lot includes his Honorable Discharge, military records, bibles, and two books he carried with him, along with his cemetery plot receipt.

Other notable Daguerreotypes include a half plate of Francis Wayland, DD, former president of Brown University with supporting documents from Harper’s Weekly; plus examples attributed to Southworth and Hawes, M.A. Root, J. Black, Anson and A.P. Hart. Others include occupationals, prominent people, a Supreme Court justice, interesting poetic portraits, along with many tinted examples and group lots.

View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at

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View the fully illustrated catalog and register to bid absentee or live via the Internet as the sale is taking place by logging on to


Photograph of Fidel Castro playing baseball, 10 inches x 8 inches. Originally owned by Argentina Estevez. Kaminski's image. 

Weegee photo of street musician. Kaminski's image. 

Rare group photograph of early revolutionaries including: Camilo Cienfuegos, Argentina Estevez, Raul Castro, General Arnaldo Ochoa, Dr. Aldo Wash (1st president of the Supreme Tribunal of the Republic), mounted on board, 7 1/2 inches x 9 1/2 inches. Important rare collection of early revolution photographs of Cuba, owned originally by Argentina Estevez. Kaminski's image.

Exceptional daguerreotype of a standing woman by Southworth & Hawes, half plate, full case, 7 inches x 5 3/4 inches. Split on spine. Identified in the catalog for Guernsey's sale in 2007, The Naylor Collection, as Elizabeth Breton Johnson Wills, Margaret's grandmother. Kaminski's image.

Attributed to Imogen Cunningham, botanical nautilus, photograph, 24 1/2 inches x 38 1/2 inches (sight), 28 1/2 inches x 42 1/2 inches (frame). Purchased in 1961 by Marian Durcorsky in Seattle Washington. Kaminski's image.

Leni Riefenstahl (German 1902 - 2003), silver print, circa 1970's, AN1260, 14 1/2 inches x 10 1/2 inches (sight), 20 inches x 16 inches (mat). Kaminski's image.

Michael Rockefeller (American, 1938 - presumed dead 1961), silver print, wall etchings of rituals of war, taken 1961, printed 1963, ZA1000, 13 1/2 inches x 10 3/8 inches (sight) 20 inches x 16 inches (mat). Photograph taken during Harvard University expedition to New Guinea that resulted in Robert Garder's milestone film 'Dead Birds.' Rockefeller mysteriously disappeared during this expedition and is presumed dead. Kaminski's image.

Last Updated on Friday, 04 May 2012 13:57

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