George Eastman House 2011 Benefit Auction set for Oct. 3; online portion is live Sept. 26

Will feature more than 230 items donated by artists, collectors, and supporters, following success of 2010 auction that raised $650,000 for the museum

For Release 2011-09-09

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film is organizing its second benefit auction of photographic prints and books, to take place in New York City at Metropolitan Pavilion at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 3. Denise Bethel, senior vice president and director of the Photographs Department at Sotheby’s New York, will again volunteer her services as auctioneer, as she did for last year’s inaugural benefit auction — which raised more than a half-million dollars in less than two hours for Eastman House.

All items for auction are donations; none are from the Eastman House collections. The George Eastman House Benefit Auction 2011 also will feature an online portion, hosted again this year by, live Sept. 26 through Oct. 7.

The works donated to the auction by artists, dealers, and collectors include photographs by contemporary artists, among them: Shelby Lee Adams, Richard Avedon, Roger Ballen, Robert Bourdeau, Jeff Bridges, Wynn Bullock, Ed Burtynsky, Carl Chiarenza, Mark Cohen, Barbara Crane, Walker Evans, Ralph Gibson, F.C. Gundlach, Robert Heinecken, Todd Hido, Ed Kashi, Michael Kenna, Mark Klett, Robert Mapplethorpe, Steve McCurry, Bea Nettles, Lori Nix, Mark Osterman, Olivia Parker, John Pfahl, Alison Rossiter, Victor Schrager, Cindy Sherman, Alec Soth, Arthur Taussig, George Tice, Alexey Titarenko, Larry Towell, Charles Traub, Arthur Tress, Brian Ulrich, Hiroshi Wantabe, Alex Webb, William Wegman, and Jack Welpott.

Historic works will again be featured, including photographs by Alvin Langdon Coburn, Frank Eugene, Frederick H. Evans, Walker Evans, Gertrude Käsebier, André Kertész, Eadweard Muybridge, George H. Seeley, Aaron Siskind, Edward Steichen, and Edward Weston.

The George Eastman House 2011 Benefit Auction will feature a two-day preview of the photographs, enhanced by live artist conversations moderated by Dr. Anthony Bannon, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director at George Eastman House. The conversations will feature Douglas Crimp, Ralph Gibson, Robert Longo, Amanda Marchand, Arno Minkkinen, and Arthur Tress. They will take place on site at Metropolitan Pavilion between 1:30 and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2, and between noon and 1 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 3 (details at end of release).

The conversations are free and open to the public, as are the live auction and auction previews. Previews are 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, with a walk-through at 11 a.m. Monday, led by Willis “Buzz” Hartshorn, the Ehrenkranz Director of the International Center of Photography (ICP). The Eastman House and ICP have enjoyed a long-standing alliance. The live auction will be preceded by a reception.

The auction photographs feature a wide range of subjects, including iconic athletic figures such as John MacEnroe in action at the 1980 Wimbledon match, and the Kentucky thoroughbred racing legend Secretariat; and artistic figures such as Frida Kahlo by Nickolas Muray and a street photograph by Bruce Weber featuring Richard Avedon in the act of making a photograph; social documentary topics include an image of a child's dress entangled in a border fence between Israel and Egypt by Natan Dvir, plus Pictometry aerial images of the Ground Zero site and the Statue of Liberty on Sept. 11, 2001.

According to, the 2010 online lots garnered more than 1,700 bids from an international audience of collectors. “This was by far one of the best charity auctions ever presented,” said Lark Mason, president and founder of and a retired vice president with Sotheby’s. Coupled with the online component, the inaugural auction ultimately raised more than $650,000, making it the largest fundraiser in the museum’s 64-year history. More than 300 people attended the 2010 live auction at Sotheby’s, called “the best attended auction of the season” by Alex Novak of The 2010 Eastman House auction at Sotheby’s New York was the auction house’s largest charity auction in history.

The challenge of the recession has required Eastman House to employ new fiscal solutions, such as this auction. Proceeds from the benefit auction help the Eastman House — the world’s oldest museum of photography — maintain its extensive collections of photographs, camera technology, motion pictures, and related literature, totaling more than 4 million objects. Eastman House also serves as an educational institution and center of preservation, offering degree-granting graduate programs in photographic and motion-picture film preservation on the site of the National Historic Landmark house, gardens, and museum.

As museums now must look for creative ways to raise funds, Eastman House’s Anthony Bannon said, “For more than 60 years George Eastman House has showcased and supported photography, and now, for this auction, we turned to the photography world to help the museum. We are overwhelmed by how enthusiastically all have embraced this effort.”

Auction details and the catalog are online at To receive updates or an auction catalog, please email your contact information to or call (585) 271-3361 ext. 293. Information about the venue is available at

In addition to the generous donors of objects to the auction, sponsors of the George Eastman House Benefit Auction 2011 are, Sotheby’s New York, Broadcliff Capital Partners, and Kodak, with additional support from Photo District News, photograph, and Hanging Around Frame & Art.

The members of the 2011 George Eastman House Benefit Auction Honorary Committee are Nathan Benn, Jeff Bridges, Peter  Bunnell, Francesca Calderone-Steichen, Carl Chiarenza, Elaine Goldman, Howard Greenberg, Paul M Hertzmann and Susan Herzig, Steven Kasher, David Leigh, Robert Longo, The Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, and Steve McCurry.


What they’re saying about Eastman House and its auction:

“While it is rare for us to donate prints in support of benefit auctions, we would like to do so in view of the great importance George Eastman House holds in the field, and because of Mr. Avedon's own passion for Eastman House and its influence." - The Richard Avedon Foundation (2011)

 "George Eastman House is a diamond. It holds the collective visual memory of our entire nation, and it is incredibly important you support it." - Graham Nash, photographer and musician (2011)


 “George Eastman House is the nation's leading photography museum … Rare photos dating to 1850 were donated, along with cameras and photography books, by 227 artists, collectors and dealers for a four-day fundraiser." - Wall Street Journal/Associated Press (2010)


“The George Eastman House is the most extensive photography museum in the world! We need it!” - Jerry Uelsmann, photographer and donor to the 2010 auction (2010)


# # #


Schedule of Live Auction Preview and Conversations
During the auction preview Sunday and Monday, Oct. 2 and 3, Eastman House presents three conversations with innovators who will discuss their perspectives on photography’s history and practice. All events are held at Metropolitan Pavilion and are free and open to the public.

Sunday, Oct. 2:

1 to 6 p.m.: Auction Preview
1:30­ to 2:30 p.m.: “Conversation: Performance, Photography, and What Comes Next” with Arno Minkkinen, Amanda Marchand, and Arthur Tress, moderated by Dr. Anthony Bannon, Ron and Donna Fielding Director at George Eastman House

3:30­ to 4:30 p.m.: “Conversation: The Photo Icon” with Ralph Gibson and Dr. Anthony Bannon
Monday, Oct. 3:

10 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Auction Preview
11 a.m.: Preview walk-through with Willis E. Hartshorn, Ehrenkranz Director, International Center of Photography

12 to ­1 p.m.: “Conversation: Birth of a Generation: The Art Scene of the 1970s” with Douglas Crimp and Robert Longo, moderated by Anthony Bannon


7 p.m.: Live Auction


# # #

Attention Media: High-res images from a selection of the auction photographs may be obtained by contacting Dresden Engle, PR manager, at



Location : 900 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14607 · More Information · RTS East Ave. routes 57 & 81; University Ave. route 48.

Hours: Tue - Sat : 10am - 5pm . Sun : 11am - 5pm. · More Information · Buy Tickets

Admission : Adults $14, Seniors (62+) $12, Students (with ID) $5, Children 12 and Under Free · Members Free

Copyright: ©2000–2015 George Eastman House · Terms of Service & Privacy Policy