W. Eugene Smith, ‘Spanish Village Spinner’, 1951, Heritage Auctions
W. Eugene Smith, ‘Spanish Village Spinner’, 1951, Heritage Auctions

Condition Report: Sheet measures 11 x 8-1/4 inches; sheet is cut unevenly along the left edge; light bumps along the edges and corners, with loss to the lower right corner, not affecting the image; one half moon crease to the upper right quadrant; a few scratches and one area of surface irregularity to the right side, noticeable in raking light.

Signature: Inscribed 'USABLE' in ink along the left margin recto; the authentication stamp on verso.

Image rights: Courtesy of Heritage Auctions

About W. Eugene Smith

Called a fanatic of his craft and, often, "troublesome" by his editors, photographer and photojournalist W. Eugene Smith demanded such perfection of his images that he destroyed most of his early work. He began taking pictures at age 14, initially of airplanes, exploring an interest in aeronautical engineering. Smith went on to study photography at Notre Dame, followed by a job at Newsweek in 1937 (which he was fired from upon refusing to use a medium-format camera.) Smith liked the freedom of smaller cameras, which was particularly important in his combat photography during WWII, where he worked as diligent war correspondent—once hitchhiking 1200 miles to rush deliver film. Smith later helped define photojournalism through his work at Life magazine, and went on to join Magnum Magazine in 1955; he is remembered as a master both technically and in the darkroom.

American, 1918-1976, Wichita, Kansas, based in Tucson, Arizona