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Polaroids on Sale

Sold by order of the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Minnesota: on June 21 and 22, Sotheby’s will offer at auction over 1,200 works from the Polaroid Collection of Photography, from classic pictures by Harry Callahan and Ansel Adams to cutting-edge contemporary works by Chuck Close and Lucas Samaras. 

Polaroid’s “instant” photography, developed by Edwin Land in the 1940’s, revolutionized picture-taking for both professionals and amateurs alike; and from its very beginning, Polaroid attracted photographers such as Adams, who were quick to seize upon the new technology’s aesthetic potential. From the 1950’s on, a whole host of artists experimented with each new Polaroid camera and film, creating a unique body of work that would officially become the Polaroid Collection of Photography. Works from the Collection to be offered by Sotheby’s include ones by the artists mentioned above, as well as Peter Beard, Walker Evans, Robert Frank, David Hockney, David Levinthal, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Robert Rauschenberg, Lorna Simpson, Andy Warhol, Carrie Mae Weems, and William Wegman, among many others.