Marion Post Wolcott Images at Auction

Jitterbug_Wolcott_FSA
Jitterbug by Wolcott (from Wikimedia Commons)

A stunning, Depression-era bathing beauty graced the cover of the Fine Books & Collections summer issue. The photograph was taken in 1939 by Farm Security Administration (FSA) photojournalist Marion Post Wolcott (1910-1990). In that issue, writer Jonathan Shipley profiled her life and career, and we heard about (and saw) some of her better known images. Which is why, when paging through Swann Galleries’ catalog for its October 15 sale of Icons & Images: Fine and Vernacular Photographs, I was pleased to recognize Wolcott’s work among the offerings, alongside Walker Evans and W. Eugene Smith.

Image via Swann Galleries. “Coal Miner’s Child Carrying Home Can of Kerosene, Company houses, Scotts Run, W. Va.,” 1938; printed 1977. Marion Post Wolcott.
Image via Swann Galleries. “Coal Miner’s Child Carrying Home Can of Kerosene, Company houses, Scotts Run, W. Va.,” 1938; printed 1977. Marion Post Wolcott.

 

The upcoming lot includes three selenium-toned silver prints, all shot in 1938-39 but printed in the 1970s and signed by the photographer. They are quintessential Wolcott images: a “jook joint” in Mississippi; a general store in North Carolina; and a coal miner’s child in West Virginia carrying home a can of kerosene (pictured here). The last-mentioned is one of her best known photographs. The estimate for the lot is $2,500-$3,500.

Singular lots of her photos have sold in the $1,500-$4,000 range in recent years, although the auction record for her work is a gelatin silver print of “Migrant Vegetable Pickers…near Homestead, Florida,” which sold in 2011 for $12,500.

 

Browse related collectible books:

Marion Post Wolcott Books & Prints

Photography Rare Book Room

Reprinted with permission from Fine Books & Collections, Rebecca Rego Barry, author

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This entry was written by and posted on October 13, 2015 at 2:40 pm, filed under Rare Finds and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink

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