Millennium Post


The Leland Hirsch collection that comes into view in New York next month is a legendary suite of photographs. Sotheby's New York will present A Beautiful Life: Photographs from the Collection of Leland Hirsch in a dedicated auction on April 10, 2018, highlighting Sotheby's spring sales of photographs. Assembled with passion over the course of nearly two decades by the 'godfather of haircolour,' this collection contains some of the most recognisable images of the 20th and 21st centuries, including works by Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Man Ray and Diane Arbus, among others. The collection will be on public view in Sotheby's York Avenue galleries beginning April 4, alongside the seasonal presale exhibition of photographs.

A pioneer in the creative and scientific development of beauty products, an authority on hair colour, visionary thought-leader and industry innovator, Leland Hirsch has defined both his career and art collection by the search for "what should be that is not." The exceptional collection he created reflects a unique and sophisticated vision that is sensitive to life's beautiful contradictions, from Man Ray's Surrealist Bras (Arm) (estimate $80/120,000) to Richard Avedon's iconic Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, August 1955 (estimate $300/500,000) and Diane Arbus's disquieting Child with a Toy Hand Grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C (estimate $70/100,000).
Fashion photography
Richard Avedon's Dovima with Elephants, Evening Dress by Dior, Cirque d'Hiver, Paris, August 1955 (estimate $300/500,000) is a monument in the history of fashion and advertising photography. Arguably, no other fashion photograph of the 20th century is as widely-recognised and no other image illustrates as fully Richard Avedon's profound gifts as a photographer. The brilliant juxtaposition of the classically elegant Dovima with the towering rough forms of the elephants is as revolutionary today as it was when it was first published by Harper's Bazaar in 1955. With this photograph, Avedon set a standard for inventiveness in fashion photography that has not been surpassed in the intervening years.
Tom Baril's Botanicals
The flower studies by Baril are an important insight into the man who was printer for Robert Mapplethorpe.
Baril began printing for Robert Mapplethorpe while still in school and has been credited with developing the lush quality of the late photographer's black & white prints.
Working initially with landscapes and urban structures, Baril produced iconic images of Boston, Chicago, New York and San Francisco. When he moved towards studio work, Baril sought close-up views of flowers using a pinhole camera with minimal depth of field. His images are sumptuous, soaked in tea to add depth and warmth, but retain a modern sensibility due to the torn and exposed edges that come from the Polaroid film he uses.
Tom Baril has gone beyond being a master printmaker in the last few decades. Tom Baril has mastered every medium he has used from 4x5 Polaroid pinhole to 8x10 collodion wet-plate. What makes Baril's work particularly notable is his ability to amaze his viewers with exquisite prints that are technically perfect. Baril has generally focused on urban architecture, minimalist seascapes and remarkably detailed still life and botanical images.
Baril has changed the way some people look at flowers—and that is an accomplishment. Few photographers have the skill to make their viewers look at something as familiar as a flower with a fresh new perspective. It has often been said that Baril's work is a mix of both the classic and the contemporary styles of photography.
A graduate of the New York's School of Visual Arts, Tom Baril spent over fifteen years as Robert Mapplethorpe's master printer. His studies include urban architecture, seascapes and meticulously detailed botanical and nature photographs. Baril has enjoyed numerous solo exhibitions world-wide, and his work is in the collections from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to Amsterdam's Stedelijk Museum. Two monographs have been published on his work, Botanica (Arena Editions, 1999); and the highly acclaimed 1997 self-titled monograph published by 4AD. Five lots in this sale show the passion and the sense of perfection he sought in capturing the finesse and finer contours of flowers from his collection of Botanicals.
Glossy editorial images
Sotheby's says, collector Leland had an affinity for glossy, editorial images such as Irving Penn's Issey Miyake Design with Black Fan (estimate $15/25,000), Herb Ritts' iconic Stephanie, Cindy, Christy, Tatjana, Naomi, Hollywood (estimate $50/70,000) and Steven Meisel's Madonna Hitching (estimate $5/7,000) was developed after decades of working with amazing photographers, models and beauty editors from the 1970's, 1980's and 1990's such as Shirley Lord and Dorothy Schefer (Vogue), Felicia Milewicz (Mademoiselle and Glamour) and many others. As the beauty editors' "go-to" person for professional hair colour, Leland provided commentary and visual concepts for what was new. He has an innate ability to interpret new ideas for editorials and photography, connecting the idea to the consumer.
Leland Hirsch's words go a long way in telling about the passion of photography. "When looking at photography as a collector, there is a personal connection between you as the collector, and the photograph. I am drawn to vibrant, exciting images that tell a special story." And so be it.

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