TONIGHT IN NYC: “Masters of Photography” Benefit Auction at Aperture Gallery

Josephine-Herrick-Project

Right on the tails of Aperture Foundation’s massive benefit and gala last week, the Aperture Gallery will be playing host to a second, smaller auction and fundraiser — one which supports a little-known, but well-loved institution in the photographic community. “Modern Masters,” a fundraiser for the Josephine Herrick Project, will be auctioning about 90 signed prints spanning a range from Man Ray’s “Le Violon d’Ingres” to more recent works by Hiroshi Sugimoto and Jill Enfield. Having opened for online bidding last week to set opening bids for its live event, the formal auction starts tonight at 6:30pm, conducted by Christie’s auctioneer Rachel Orkin-Ramey and with all profits going to the Project.

Originally known as War Service Photography (later named Volunteer Service Photographers and Rehabilitation Through Photography, consecutively), the nonprofit was founded in 1941 by Josephine Herrick, who, during WWII, organized volunteer programs to capture photographs of servicemen to send back to their families, and later created a series of photography rehabilitation programs at veterans hospitals throughout NYC. Over the decades since then, the project has expanded to include programs that provide photo equipment and volunteer teachers for various disabled groups, in hospitals and other social service agencies across the city. Early auction fundraisers in the 1970s were supported by (and took donations from) photography icons like Ansel Adams, Margaret Bourke-White, Edward Steichen, and Irving Penn, among others.

Tonight’s event will be the Project’s first public auction in 35 years, with highlights that include works from Douglas Kirkland, Amy Arbus, William Wegman, paparazzi photog Ron Galella’s “Jackie Onassis,” and Robert A. Cumins‘ now-historic “World Trade Center, September 11, 2001.” As an inspiring addition to this week’s auction news, here’s hoping to its success.

— Lori Fredrickson

(Photo credit: Man Ray, “Tears.”)