Steve McCurry, ‘Taj and Train, Agra, India’, 1983-printed 2011, Phillips

Photographs from the Collection of Jeffrey M. Kaplan, Washington, D.C.

From the Catalogue:
About the Collector:
With a life-long passion for collecting, spurred by an intense, intellectual curiosity for art, Jeffrey M. Kaplan’s collection transcends classification and speaks to his devotion to all things cultural. Driven by an innate interest in learning about different cultures and ways of life, the photographs in his collection illustrate key moments and movements throughout the history of the medium, unified by the overarching theme of one man’s collecting journey.

The photographs on offer, lots 271-286, include works by leaders in the field, thus demonstrating Kaplan’s deep knowledge and keen awareness of the medium. From Alfred Stieglitz, and his selections for Camera Work, to Ansel Adams and Berenice Abbott, the classic is balanced by the contemporary with an equally impressive selection of works by Robert Mapplethorpe, Alec Soth and Robert Polidori. Kaplan’s particular affinity for Mapplethorpe is evident in the six lots on offer which show the photographer’s incredible depth and include the stunning dye transfer print, Flowers in Vase; the iconic photograph of Thomas that was selected by Patti Smith to grace the cover of Robert Mapplethorpe, her 1987 book on the photographer; and Wheat, a still-life that shows a masterful range of tonality.

This diverse selection reflects Kaplan’s constant interest in acquiring works that peaked his intellect, while offering the thrill that drives the most devoted of collectors.
Courtesy of Phillips

Signature: Signed in ink on the verso; dated and numbered 32/90 in an unidentified hand in ink on an artist's studio label affixed to the verso.

Phaidon, India: Steve McCurry, p. 115, there titled Steam engine passes in front of the Taj Mahal, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Phaidon, Steve McCurry, pl. 7, there titled Steam Train, Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
Phaidon, Steve McCurry: South Southeast, n.p.

Chris Beetles Fine Photographs, London

About Steve McCurry

With his shrewd journalistic approach to photography, Steve McCurry has captured some of the most iconic images of the 20th and 21st centuries. McCurry creates straightforward representational photographs that seek to illuminate areas of the world and create narratives from honest depictions of people and places. The photographer is well known for his contributions to magazines such as National Geographic, which featured Afghan Girl—his infamous 1985 image—on its cover. The woman’s haunting green eyes and her location in a country hidden behind the Iron Curtain contributed to the photograph’s significance. “I think the best way to actually photograph somebody is to really look into their eyes,” McCurry has said. “The eyes are so expressive, they say so much about a person.” In recent years, McCurry has continued his journalistic investigations of the less fortunate in areas closer to his home, photographing abused domestic workers in the United States.

American, b. 1950, Darby, Pennsylvania