Katharine Thayer wrote:
Okay, on my page I've replaced the cropped jpeg from the blog with the
uncropped jpeg of the same print, directly from the auction catalog,
and now we have for sure the three prints: (1) the print that
belonged to the Metropolitan and was auctioned for $2.9 million, gum
over platinum; (2) the print that still belongs to the Met, platinum
with applied color, (3) the print that belongs to MOMA, identified as
platinum and ferroprussiate.
Now, where the heck were we....oh yes, we were discussing whether
Steichen may have used a reversed negative for the blue in the sky for
(3) or even for (1). Geesh,
On Mar 17, 2009, at 2:38 PM, Katharine Thayer wrote:
Funny, I should have actually looked at the link from the auction
catalog before I answered your post, except that it mattered less to
me what picture was in the auction catalog as that you were saying
that the image at the bottom of my page was probably the auctioned
print, which I knew absolutely to be incorrect.
But now that I've actually looked at the picture from the auction
catalog, it is so evident that they are different pictures, that I'm
surprised that you thought they might be the same, and the image at
the top of my page is so obviously the same as the image in the
auction catalog, that I'm surprised you thought they were different.
Yes, the blogger, or someone, cropped the uninteresting foreground
off (I actually think it's a better image with that cropped off) and
there's perhaps a slight difference in the darkness of the two
reproductions, but I'm sure it's the same print.
So, that mystery is solved, and for the purpose of our discussion
here, I will replace the cropped image from the blog with the actual
image from the auction catalog, for the short time that this page
will be up. Thanks for alerting me to the existence of this image;
odd that it didn't come up when I googled for images of this print.
On Mar 17, 2009, at 12:46 PM, Jean Daubas wrote:
Thanks for showing us the 3 prints side by side but I'm not sure of
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 mage ???
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 Steichen's workflow...
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"
Sent: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 8:04 PM
Subject: Pond-moonrise (was: Re: Steichen image in April's 'Vanity
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 original negative.
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
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?
Very interesting O.T. I would only like to add that I don't own any of
these and if I did I wouldn't auction it off, but donate it to the list
member who can reproduce or duplicate the guy with cigar with just Pl