Re: Pond-moonrise (was: Re: Steichen image in April's 'Vanity Fair'
Thanks for showing us the 3 prints side by side but I'm not sure of your
In fact, the bottom 3rd print that you think is often shown by error as the
"record auction" print is probably really the auction print.
I give you the link to the February 2006 Sotheby's auction catalogue where
Steichen's "the Pond - Moonlight" was lot # 6, sold 2,928,000 USD .
the illustration and the measurements clearly show that the 1st print you
put on your page (found on a blog) is not the one which was sold at
Sotheby's : it is far more rectangular than the actual one. By respect for
Edward Steichen's memory, i reall hope no one dared to crop the original
You will find on this catalog page a very extensive description of the print
and its sister prints as well as some interesting indications about
hope it helps to clear the issue,
cheers from France,
Jean Daubas, auteur-photographe
16 rue de Bourg-Sec
25440 LIESLE (France)
+33 (0)3 81 57 50 13 et +33 (0) 681 531 289
----- Original Message -----
From: "Katharine Thayer" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 8:04 PM
Subject: Pond-moonrise (was: Re: Steichen image in April's 'Vanity Fair'
However, on the topic of those "Moon Over Mamaroneck" AND the Flatiron
building prints (tho one or more of them could be Stieglitz & I'm too
harried today to check, in fact I'm not really here at this moment)...
I've tried to figure out how the blue sky was printed in, with no other
sky tone, and decided that there were likely 2 negatives, either one
positive & one negative, of one much contrastier than the other....
Judy, I agree with you on both counts: (1) that Steichen's pictorialist
photographs were much more beautiful and interesting than his "straight"
photographs, and (2) that it looks like the blue tone in the sky,
especially in the pond print where the blue was printed with cyanotype,
just about had to be printed in with a positive "negative" in order to
get that much tone. You've got a good eye.
I did that once, when I wanted a glow of golden light between the trees
in a forest shot; I printed the golden color in with a reversed negative;
there wasn't any way to get that much tone between the trees using the
Whether this is what Steichen actually did we can only speculate, because
AFAIK all Steichen's negatives are still in the possession of, and under
the tight control of, Joanna Steichen.
God (in the form of the aforenamed woman herself) may strike me dead for
this, but I've made a page with reproductions of all three of the prints
(I hope) of this image, so we can compare them and evaluate the validity
of your observation. I'm not so sure it's accurate with the first print,
the gum over platinum; I think maybe this was printed from just the
negative. What do you think? But the bottom one, the cyanotype over
platinum, it seems pretty certain to me that the cyan is printed with a
reversed negative. I don't know if MOMA has analyzed this print the way
the Met has analyzed theirs, but since I don't know otherwise, I'm taking
on faith that they know for sure that this is cyanotype over platinum and
not hand-applied color over platinum. I'd be willing to bet big bucks
that he simply colored in the moon (notice that he didn't think to color
in a reflection of it in the water).
Look quick, because this page will self-destruct in a few days. I'm
hyperventilating already at the thought that I actually did this, even
though it's all for a good cause.
As for the Flatiron, that doesn't seem quite as clearcut to me, and
besides there are so many copies of that image (mostly reproductions from
a copyneg made from the original gum print) that it's almost impossible
to say which one we're talking about. The Met alone has five versions of
it, I think, and the version they show on their website doesn't
correspond by date and description to any of the ones listed in the
catalog of the Stieglitz collection, so it's all pretty confusing. But
would you say it's probably true of this one?
the actual $2.9 million print?