One of the most noteworthy productions in the history of photography. [Sheeler] has been enamored of barns for years...and succeeds because of a passionate insistence on composition. Henry McBride

Side of White Barn, Bucks County, 1917

Side of White Barn, Bucks County, 1917
gelatin silver print
credit and title 'Buck [sic] County Barn' in pencil (on the accompanying original secondary mount)
image: 7 5/8 x 9 5/8in. (19.3 x 24.5cm.)
sheet/flush-mount: 8 x 9 7/8in. (20.3 x 25cm.)
secondary mount: 16¼ x 13¾in. (40.5 x 35cm.)
Millard, 'Charles Sheeler: American Photographer', Contemporary Photographer, Vol. VI, No. 1, 1967, n.p.; Stebbins and Keyes, Charles Sheeler: The Photographs, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1987, pl. 21 (variant cropping); Lucic, Charles Sheeler in Doylestown: American Modernism and the Pennsylvania Tradition, Allentown Art Museum/University of Washington Press, 1997, pl. 27, p. 76; Stebbins, Mora and Haas, The Photography of Charles Sheeler, American Modernist, Bulfinch Press, 2002, p. 27 (variant cropping)

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Lot Essay

Perhaps best-known for his Precisionist canvases of industrial complexes and factory buildings, Charles Sheeler's photographs were extremely important in the development of modernism.
This image is a masterpiece, taken during the period when Sheeler was photographing barns in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, near the Doylestown farmhouse he shared with his close friend Morton Schamberg. The barn wall has been flattened and simplified to create an elegant abstraction, here in its purest form. In variant printings of the image, Sheeler left visible more of the shingle roof at the top of the image and the chicken at the bottom.
This print is quite exceptional. Sheeler is known to have mounted only his finest prints and this one is accompanied by its original mount.

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