Black-and-White Photography

“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me, they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected,” Robert Frank famously said. Since the invention of the daguerreotype in 1839, modernist photographers like Edward Steichen, Paul Strand, and Ansel Adams explored their surroundings with a black-and-white lens, elevating photography to an art form alongside painting and sculpture. While color photography rose to popularity in the 1970s, many contemporary artists like Zanele Muholi, Sebastião Salgado, Hiroshi Sugimoto, and Sally Mann continue to shoot in black and white, selecting the monochrome approach for its visual impact, masterful techniques, and timeless appeal. The most expensive black and white photographs ever sold at auction include Edward Weston’s Nude (1925) for $1.6 million, Alfred Stieglitz’s Georgia O’Keeffe Nude (1919) for $1.4 million, and Richard Avedon’s Dovima with Elephants (1955) for $1.2 million.

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$50 - $50,000+
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