W. Eugene Smith, ‘Untitled (Mother and child)’, Heritage Auctions
W. Eugene Smith, ‘Untitled (Mother and child)’, Heritage Auctions
W. Eugene Smith, ‘Untitled (Mother and child)’, Heritage Auctions

Among the approximately 5,500 prints left by Smith at the time of his death, this was one of only two prints of this image in the estate.

Condition Report: Hinged to mat along upper corners on verso; sheet measures 20 x 16 inches;;sheet is slightly undulating; light overall discoloration due to age; one crease approximately 4-1/2 inches long to the center; two small creases to the left upper edge; one scratch approximately 1 inch long to the upper left quadrant

Signature: The photographer's 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