Photograph. Kaigan Works

W. Eugene SMITH

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Item#: 70113 price:$4,200.00

Photograph. Kaigan Works


SMITH, W. Eugene. Photograph. Hitachi, Ltd.—Kaigan Works. No place, circa 1961. Vintage gelatin silver print (measures 14-1/2 by 9-1/2 inches), mounted on heavy stock, additionally matted (total measures 20 by 16 inches), Smith’s estate inkstamp and additional copyright inkstamp on print verso, label on mat verso. $4200.

Vintage gelatin silver print from the estate of W. Eugene Smith, his formally elegant view of Japanese workers at Hitachi’s Kaigan Works, with Smith’s estate inkstamp on the verso, this print featured in a highly praised 1996 New York gallery exhibit of his photographs.

When W. Eugene Smith was approached in December 1960 with a proposal to chronicle the workers and plants of Japan’s industrial giant Hitachi, it was an “opportunity that was irresistible… The weaving of disparate elements would become the central thrust of Gene’s photography in Japan” (Hughes, 422-3). This vintage gelatin silver print showing five workers on a break with their tea pot and books, seated in a room perched above the massive machinery of Hitachi’s Kaigan Works, eloquently contrasts the country’s potential schism of modernity and tradition. This image was prominently featured by Smith in his subsequent photobook Japan… A Chapter of Image (34). Print with inkstamps on the verso reading “Photograph by W. Eugene Smith: This authenticated photograph was in the private collection of W. Eugene Smith at the time of his death—October 15, 1978,” followed by inkstamp reading “This photograph taken and copyrighted credit © W. Eugene Smith.” Mat with small label on verso from New York’s Lowinsky Gallery, which displayed this print and others from the estate in a 1996 exhibit. Trace of penciled notations to interior mat verso.

Print fine with bit of tape to verso of interior mat.

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