On September 12-13 at the Arader Gallery in New York City, Guernsey’s will be conducting a major auction of the Neil Leifer Photographic Collection. One of the auction dates will feature Neil’s own enormously popular work, while the other will include hundreds of memorable images taken by a virtual Who’s Who of accomplished photographers who Neil befriended over the decades.
These include Henri Carter-Bresson, Margaret Bourke-White, Alfred Eisenstaedt,
Richard Avedon, Annie Leibovitz, Leni Riefenstahl, Gordon Parks, Hy Peskin, Robert Capa, Milton Green, Joe Rosenthal and Alfred Wertheimer.
As sports fans across the U.S. and around the globe know, Leifer is universally considered one of the finest sports photographers of the 20th century. His work fills the pages of countless books while many of his photographs have appeared on the covers of such prestigious publications as Time magazine and Sports illustrated. Amongst his iconic shots is the compelling image of a young Cassius Clay challenging the fallen Sonny Liston to get off the canvas, and the stark black-and-white images from the 1958 sudden death victory of the Baltimore Colts over the N.Y. Giants in what often is described as “the greatest football game ever played.”
Interestingly, many of the approximately 300 Leifer photographs being sold will include
Neil’s original press credentials, which permitted him behind-the-scenes access at what are now often referred to as legendary sporting events.
Yet Neil’s own work represents only half of this remarkable auction. He assembled the other half as follows. Starting at an early age (surprisingly, Neil was only 16 when he shot the Giants/Colts game), he reached out to the most acclaimed photographers of their day. His goal: to swap his work for theirs, print in exchange for print. Today, more than half-century later, the collection Neil amassed is truly breathtaking. It ranges
from joyful images of such celebrities as Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, James Dean and the Beatles to Mickey Mantle, Michael Jordan and, of course, Muhammad Ali.
There are painful shots from World War II, Vietnam and the World Trade Center tragedy, just as there are cutting edge images from the worlds of Jackson Pollack, Andy Warhol and high fashion. JFK to Jack Nicholson to Mikhail Gorbachev to Albert Einstein to Ella Fitzgerald. From urbanscapes to the farmlands. The scope of the collection is vast and its power is immense
To order the auction catalog and to find out further details about the event go to Guernsey’s website, www.guernseys.com or contact the auction house at 212-794-2280.