Auction House of the Russian Federation to hold first photography auction in Russia

Moscow, 22 May – RIA Novosti. For the first time in Russia, an auction of photography, where works by Leni Riefenstahl, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy and Max Alpert will be displayed, will be held by the Auction House of the Russian Federation (AHR) on 2 June, RIA Novosti reported at its press service.
The pre-auction, which will be divided into two space – Gostiny Dvor and the Gallery of classical photography, opens in Moscow on Tuesday.

 A total of 88 lots are up for auction – photographs by Arkady Shaikhet, Georgy Lipskerov, Alexander Khlebnikov, Vadim Gippenreiter, Georgy Zelma, Nikolai Svishchov-Paola, Robert Diament and other photographers. The earliest photographs at the auction are from the mid-19th century – the watercolor-enhanced “Portrait of Ye.N. Muravieva” by Alexander Nechaev (estimate 130-170,000 rubles) and the pair of portraits “Slovak Man” and “Slovak Woman” by Thorwald Mitreiter (estimate for each portrait 140-170,000 rubles).

The age of constructivism is represented by the famous photographs of Alexander Rodchenko, “Courtyard” (estimate 450-600,000 rubles) and “Lighting decorations of the square by the Bolshoi Theater for the 16th anniversary of the October Revolution” by Nikolai Kubeev (estimate 40-50,000 rubles).

The most expensive lot, with a preliminary estimate of 1.1-1.7 million rubles, is the photograph “The Cave” by Laszalo Moholy-Nagy, an artist and art theorist who taught at the Higher School of Building and Artistic Construction – Bauhaus, which later became a separate avant-garde movement in the architecture of the first third of the 20th century.

The photograph “German gymnasts” by Leni Riefenstahl is also on display at the auction – the picture from the 1936 Olympics is valued at 600-700,000 rubles.

Furthermore, at Gostiny Dvor you can see over 350 pictures, graphic and decorative and applied works that are displayed for the auction on 2 June.

All over the world, collecting photographs is becoming increasingly popular and profitable as an investment – leading auction houses hold themed auctions, where photographs are sold for seven-figure sums. For example, in 2006 at Sotheby’s, the photograph “Lake in the moonlight” by the pioneer of American photography Edward Steichen was sold for $2.9 million. The most expensive single-copy photograph at Christie’s was Richard Avedon’s “Dovima with the Elephants” – it was purchased in Paris in 2010 for $1.1 million.