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E.J. Bellocq Storyville Prostitute photograph

Lot 0147
Heading: (Photographs)
Author: Bellocq, E.J.
Title: Storyville Portrait
Place Published: New Orleans
Date Published: 1911-13 [later impression]

Gelatin silver print photograph. 23.5x19.5 cm (9¼x7¾"). Tipped to a large sheet of white paper with editorial notes, small slip from the Kingsport Press affixed.

Photograph of a young prostitute, nude but for her shoes and jewelry, seated on a chaise, in the New Orleans Storyville district in the early years of the 20th century. E.J. Bellocq was a commercial photographer in New Orleans, largely known for his port photography. Unbeknownst to others, he also photographed the prostitutes of the city's Storyville red-light district. The photographs were unpublished during his lifetime and in 1949 the negatives were purchased by two New Orleans antique dealers, Al Rose and Larry Borenstein. The negatives were later sold to photographer Lee Friedlander who published a series of the images, using "printing-out" paper, with a purplish tint and matte finish. It was later discovered that Rose or Borenstein had themselves printed a number of the images on photographic paper, with glossy finish. The present image appears to be one of the Rose/Borenstein impressions. Provenance: The estate of author and photographer, Bradley Smith.


Light wear to edges and surface, a bit of wrinkling; very good.

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E.J. Bellocq Storyville Prostitute photograph

Auction ended on Thu, Apr 30, 2015
Estimate $3,000 - $5,000
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