For Collectors of the Fine and Decorative Arts

Features From Previous Issues

Essay: Poetry of the Moment

When Robert Frank’s landmark photography book, The Americans, was first published in the United States in 1959, it was not warmly received, to put it mildly. His photographs—off-kilter, sometimes out of focus or unflattering but always remarkable—were seen by some in that nationalistic, Cold War-era as an all-out condemnation of the country. Continue reading

Film: Light and the City

A glass box of a room juts into the Los Angeles night; within it, two young women converse, unconcerned with the glittering grid of city lights beneath them. This striking image became famous not only because of its composition but because of its enduring resonance as an emblem of California modernism. Continue reading

Collecting: C’est Daguerre

In preparation for this past spring’s photography sale, the specialists at Sotheby’s New York were researching a 4- by 5.25-inch daguerreotype, taken in 1848 or earlier, of a rural estate on what is now New York City’s Upper West Side. The image, remarkably detailed despite some tarnishing, shows a house at the top of a hill, with a white fence encircling the yard in front of it. Continue reading

Film: Desert Explorer

Even in this digital age the iconography of the American Southwest—the horizontal expanse of land and sky, the mammoth cloud formations, the sculpted buttes and wind-scrubbed mesas, the lone saguaros and cottonwoods—commands considerable evocative power. When the California-born artist Maynard Dixon first visited Arizona and New Mexico in 1900, he met his muse in that wild terrain. Continue reading

Talking Pictures: Revolutionary Road

“I should be photographing more steel mills or paper factories,” Edward Weston wrote in his daybook on Sept. 13, 1923, “but here I am in romantic Mexico … There are sunlit walls of fascinating surface textures, and there are clouds!” Continue reading