(AFP) – Feb 11, 2010
NEW YORK — A Sotheby's auction in New York this June will break up bankrupt Polaroid Corp's historic photo collection featuring many of the 20th century's top artists and photographers.
The Polaroid camera was most famous for putting amateurs a click and a few seconds from a printed picture.
But legends including David Hockney, Robert Mapplethorpe, Andy Warhol and Ansel Adams were also devotees of the clunky, but magical device.
Their works -- sold on order of the US Bankruptcy Court in Minnesota -- are expected by Sotheby's to raise 7.5 to 11.5 million dollars at the June 21-22 sale.
Proceeds from the sale will go to creditors of the failed company.
The auction has drawn fire from some photographers because it will split up the famed collection. A public viewing at Sotheby's before the auction will be the last chance to see the pictures together.
Sotheby's said the election "provides unique insight into the influence of Polaroid's revolutionary technology."
"This will be the first time in the history of our market that we have offered a collection based upon a technology, rather than an artist or a theme," said Denise Bethel, director of the photographs department at Sotheby?s in New York.
"Polaroid materials, in the hands of innumerable artists, re-defined the aesthetic of the 20th century."
The 1,200 pictures, including both Polaroid and traditional photos, include 400 works by Adams, who worked closely with the camera's inventor Edwin Land and began the photo collection at Land's request.
Land got his inspiration for the Polaroid while on vacation in 1943 when his young daughter Jennifer asked why she couldn't see photographs right after they were taken.
"For the brilliant Edwin Land, this was not merely a child?s simple question, but a challenge to be overcome," Sotheby's said.
"It took Land only an afternoon to effectively invent the concept of instant photography and his first Land camera and film, which sold out within hours, was introduced to the market in a Boston department store in 1948."
Polaroid Corp. filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008 amid a fraud probe of its parent company Petters Group Worldwide.
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