U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: Steichen image in April's 'Vanity Fair'

Re: Steichen image in April's 'Vanity Fair'

Actually, the analysis, on the two that were owned by the
Metropolitan, one of which was auctioned for $2.9 million, was done
by the conservation department at the Metropolitan (who do have
access to electron microscopes and all the best techniques for
determining what a print is made of). By whose assertion is it said
that the print that sold for $2.9 million was gum over platinum? By
the Metropolitan's assertion, by the experts who spoke on the record
about the sale at the time, and by the assertion of the auction
catalog itself. I assume that the analysis of the cyanotype over
platinum owned by MOMA was done by MOMA. ArtNews is just simply
wrong, as was the person who claimed on this thread that the print
that sold for $2.9 million was a straight gum print; it's just not so.

But that wasn't the question I was trying to answer today; I've known
those facts for several years already. What I was trying to
determine today was what was the image that was reproduced on page 61
of Vanity Fair? Your comment made it seem like you were saying that
the image in Vanity Fair was the same image as the one that sold for
$2.9 million, but maybe one of the other prints? That's what didn't
make sense to me (besides the assertion that the one that sold for
$2.9 million was a gum print, which simply isn't accurate). Why
would one of those prints be in a show at a gallery? I can imagine
one of them showing up at Christy's or Sotheby's, or in a museum
retrospective, but why at Greenberg; it didn't make sense to me.

And now Tom has solved the mystery; it wasn't that image at all but
the one I found online, and whatever you were talking about didn't
have any particular connection to the thread. Okay, that makes sense
to me, and that's all I was looking for, was some sense.

On Mar 9, 2009, at 6:07 PM, Katharine Thayer wrote:

Well, okay, since no one would answer my question I spent the
afternoon out in a roaring sleetstorm looking for a copy of the
April Vanity Fair to answer the question for myself. I went to the
library and all the stores that might carry general interest
magazines in my nearest big town, and no one has the April issue
available yet.

I was curious which print of Steichen's was reproduced, in an
effort to make sense of the statement made earlier in this thread:
""There was a good article on this image in Photo On Campus about
the one that sold for 3 million. That was a gum print, but it says
there were three prints of this negative made so I wonder how the
third one was made."

For the record, the print that sold for $2.9 million was not a gum
print, but gum over platinum. There were two other prints made
from the same negative; one of them, which Stieglitz gave to the
Metropolitan in 1933 and is still in the Met's collection AFAIK,
has been analyzed and is believed to be hand-applied colori over
platinum. The third, which is owned by MOMA, is platinum and

I found an image online from the current Steichen exhibition at
Greenberg that we can actually all look at so we can all be on the
same page; I don't know if this is the one that was reproduced in
Vanity Fair, and I also don't know why it seems to be on a gay
website. The point is that it's an example of cyanotype over
palladium, which Tom was asking about, and I think it's absolutely
stunning. I have a number of Steichen monographs but I've never
seen this particular image before. I wouldn't have believed it
possible to get such warm flesh tones simply from a combination of
palladium and cyanotype, but I'm told by someone who used to print
with this combination that this is typical of the combination of
processes. This is the first time ever that I have wished to print
in any process than gum; I really love the way this looks.



On Mar 9, 2009, at 11:45 AM, Katharine Thayer wrote:

I don't have Vanity Fair in front of me and it would take some
traveling to find one; can someone enlighten me as to which
print is reproduced in the magazine? Thanks,

On Mar 7, 2009, at 8:21 PM, Tom Hawkins wrote:

Hi Folks,

I know it’s only a magazine reproduction, but...

In the April issue of Vanity Fair (p.61) there’s an image from a
Steichen exhibit currently at Greenberg in NYC.

It’s described as a “palladium ferroprusiate print.”

Am I correct in assuming that’s a gum over palladium?