Auction  April 23, 2018  Megan D Robinson

Leland Hirsch’s Private Collection Brings Fashion and Photography Together at Sotheby’s

Courtesy Sotheby's

Richard Avedon, "Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris," large format, flush-mounted to linen, signed and editioned '32/50' in pencil and with title, date, edition and copyright/reproduction limitation stamps on the reverse, framed, 1955, printed later, 51-1/2 by 41 in. (130.8 by 101.1 cm.) Estimate $300/500,000, Sold for $375,000.

Sotheby’s recent auction, "A Beautiful Life: Photographs from the Collection of Leland Hirsch," presented fifty striking photos from Hirsch’s private collection. Richard Avedon’s iconic "Dovima with Elephants" led the auction, selling for $375,500, one of the highest prices of the season. Herb Ritts’ powerful ‘Big Five’ supermodel photo sold for a record $150,000, Steven Meisel’s "Madonna Hitching (From Sex)" sold for $16,250, more than double the expected price, and Diane Arbus’ "Child With A Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, NYC," sold for $137,500, significantly more than expected. “It was a privilege to present 'A Beautiful Life: Photographs from the Collection of Leland Hirsch' and share the beauty pioneer’s vision with the world,” says Emily Bierman, Head of Sotheby’s New York Photographs Department. Hirsch, currently CEO of Celeb Luxury was “absolutely thrilled with the results” of the sale from his “very personal collection of photographs.” 

Courtesy Sotheby's

Herb Ritts, 'Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood,' mounted, signed, titled, dated, and editioned '11/25' in pencil and stamped on the reverse, overmatted, framed, 1989, 18-1/2 by 20 in. (47 by 50.8 cm.). Estimate $50/70,000, Sold for $150,000.

Assembled over two decades, the Hirsch collection features some of the most celebrated photographs of the 20th and 21st centuries. Better known as “the godfather of haircolor,” Hirsch is a legend in the hair care industry on par with Paul Mitchell and Vidal Sasoon. Born into a family of chemists, Leland revolutionized the industry by co-founding the L’Oréal Paris–acquired Artec Systems group, one of the first developers and retailers of hair coloring products. Working in the world of high fashion, Leland met a number of famous fashion photographers and quickly became a connoisseur of their work. His superb collection features work by Richard Avedon, Irving Penn and Peter Beard as well as Diane Arbus and Man Ray. Collectors from all over the world, including Western Europe, the US, and Asia, responded enthusiastically to the auction, with many new bidders participating.

Courtesy Sotheby's

Diane Arbus, 'Child with a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C.' signed, titled, dated, and editioned '72/75' by Doon Arbus, the photographer's daughter, in ink and with the 'A Diane Arbus Photograph' and reproduction rights stamp on the reverse, framed, exhibition labels on the reverse, 1962, printed posthumously by Neil Selkirk, 14-3/4 by 15 in. (27.5 by 38 cm.), Estimate $70/100,000, Sold for $137,500.

About the Author

Megan D Robinson

Megan D Robinson writes for Art & Object and the Iowa Source.