This lot is offered without reserve.
PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE ESTATE OF ISADORE AND KELLY FRIEDMAN
Isadore and Kelly Friedman, dedicated philanthropists and champions of both artists and educational institutions, amassed their own first-rate collection of paintings and photographs. For the Friedmans art literally was for art's sake - these days an unfashionable and sophisticated notion - not something to be gathered up for the purpose of investment or self-publicity, but rather to inform and enrich their own lives and those of others. They were generous benefactors, donating, then bequeathing, a significant portion of the collection to the Boca Raton Museum in Florida.
We knew very little about the couple or their collection when we visited an art warehouse in a rather dingy neighborhood of Miami in February 2006. Could anything rival the glamour of a rock star's carefully stored sports car just glimpsed en route to our storage area? All doubts were laid to rest, however, as the photographs were unwrapped and laid out before us. The breadth and yet coherence of the collection was a happy surprise. The Friedmans were enthusiastic travelers and their passion for Paris in particular is evident in the pictures they bought. Steichen, Atget, Brassaï, René-Jacques, Doisneau and Webb's interpretations of the city's charms are well represented here, while important landmarks in American photography are also in plentiful supply, including a large selection of significant plates from Camera Work by Pictorialist and Modernist masters such as Steiglitz, Strand and White. Equally strong is the representation of New York and the shabby townships of the Depression-era by photographers such as Abbott, Evans, Lange and Zinnemann.
There is something for every taste in these photographs - for the collectors of nineteenth or twentieth century material, of landscapes, city views, abstractions or nudes. Yet despite this diversity, the works seem to have a common thread; nostalgic, gritty, subtle or sentimental, they are all zesty and life-affirming images, a delight to contemplate. Christie's is therefore very pleased to offer the following lots, to be sold without reserve, part of the legacy of these very enlightened collectors.