ARNOLD GENTHE (AMERICAN 1869-1942), AN EXCLUSIVE PHOTOGRAPHIC NEGATIVE ARCHIVE, COLLECTION OF 473 GLASS AND ACETATE NEGATIVES, CIRCA 1913-1942.
Comprising a recently discovered cache of 23 glass and 440 acetate “Safety film” negatives by American photographer Arnold Genthe created between 1913 and 1942. The vast majority 5 inches x 7 inches and most contained in what appear to be the original paper sleeves, with 156 having an inscribed inventory number and identified with a model's name or names and in many cases the date or year created. The archive consisting mostly of period dancers modeling in the nude in mixed indoor studio settings utilizing natural or artificial light, and with some exterior garden and fountain scenes in a variety of artistic poses and dance forms ranging from standing to head and shoulders with torso, and employing a variety of props including scarves, sheer garments, bronze chargers, flowers and in some cases, park statuary. The collection contains 49 different named models and notable individuals including actress Olga Petrova, Mildred Gillars (Axis Sally), suffragette Elizabeth Stuyvesant, modern dance pioneer Ruth St. Denis, actress Audrey Munson, ballet dancer Matilda Silva, The Eastman Kodak girl Eleanor Boardman, dancer Desha Deteil, and many others plus dance groups including Dutch Treat, Denishawn, and Marion Morgan. One series in particular titled “Torso” with an unidentified model consists of seven differing three quarters length poses of a nude woman with drape, the head and ankles obscured with a black cloth. For a print of a similar image see Sotheby’s “Photographs from the Museum of Modern Art” April 25th, 2001, lot 112. Condition: Overall fair to good. Most works appear to be in printable condition but may need a cleaning of various degrees. Of the glass negatives six have water stains of which three affect the image of the model, and five have adhered envelope remnants which need removal. Of the safety film negatives, the majority appear printable although most will need light cleaning; approximately 35 have deteriorated, and approximately 40 have various degrees of water damage or adhered envelope remnants.