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Bruce Davidson (American, b.1933)
LOT ID: 79923
Widow of Montmartre, Paris, France, 1956

Silver Print, Gelatin silver print
12 х 17 in. (30.48 x 43.18 cm.)
Lot description
Perfect condition, printed later.

Bruce Davidson (American, b. September 5, 1933) is a widely exhibited and published photographer and contributing member of the famed photographic cooperative Magnum Photos. Davidson was born in Oak Park, IL, to a single mother who constructed his first darkroom when he was 10 years old. Davidson began attending the Rochester Institute of Technology upon his completion of high school, after which he continued on to Yale.

Despite urgings to turn to drawing and color painting from one of his instructors, Josef Albers (American, 1888–1976), Davidson created a photo essay for his college thesis, entitled Life, which documented the different emotions displayed by football players behind the scenes of the game. Upon completion of college in 1955, Davidson was drafted into the army, where he quickly found himself a part of the photo pool in the Fort Huachuca Signal Corps. When transferred to Paris, he met Henri Cartier-Bresson (French, 1908–2004), who would serve as his confidant and advisor, and also introduce him to Magnum Photos.

After his discharge from the military in 1957, Davidson joined Magnum Photos. At this point, the main focus of his work became photographic chronicles of different places and events, both mundane and famous. One of his earlier works, Brooklyn Gang, provided an intimate portrayal of the lives and emotions of a small Brooklyn street gang. In the early 1960s, Davidson produced one of his most famous photographic documentaries, Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, which was a multi-perspective examination of the Civil Rights movement. In support of this project, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, and upon completion, it was displayed at the Museum of Modern Art.

Later in the 1960s, he went on to produce the two-year chronicle East 100th Street, which showed the amazing resilience of residents living in a neighborhood rife with crime, poverty, and decay. In contrast, he completed a work entitled Central Park in the late 1990s, which was a four-year tour that depicted the beauty and majesty of New York City. In 1998, Davidson returned to the scene of East 100th Street to document the many changes that had transpired over the 30 years since he completed the work. Presented as a slide show, this work earned him an Open Society Institute Individual Fellowship Award. Davidson lives and works in New York.
Widow of Montmartre, Paris, France by Bruce Davidson
  • Widow of Montmartre, Paris, France by Bruce Davidson
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Sales Results for Comparable Works

  • Bruce Davidson

    Couple, East 100th Street
    gelatin silver print
    (H 8.6, W 10.7) in.
    (21.8 x 27.3) cm.
    Sold for: US$4,000
    Friday, October 5, 2012
    Christie's New York
    Lot 00381
  • Bruce Davidson

    The Dwarf (In Army Uniform)
    gelatin silver print
    (H 8.7, W 12.8) in.
    (22 x 32.6) cm.
    Sold for: US$3,155
    Tuesday, May 22, 2012
    Bloomsbury Auctions
    Lot 00232
  • Bruce Davidson

    Protest, Cuban Missile Crisis
    gelatin silver print
    (H 9.4, W 6.3) in.
    (24 x 16) cm.
    Sold for: US$4,750
    Monday, December 19, 2011
    Christie's New York
    Lot 00252
  • Bruce Davidson

    Brooklyn gang
    gelatin silver print
    (H 8.7, W 13.0) in.
    (22 x 33) cm.
    Sold for: US$4,414
    Wednesday, November 16, 2011
    Bloomsbury Auctions
    Lot 00198
  • Bruce Davidson

    Girl with kitten
    gelatin silver print
    (H 17.9, W 12.0) in.
    (45.5 x 30.5) cm.
    Sold for: US$2,961
    Friday, October 28, 2011
    Lot 00099
  • Bruce Davidson

    gelatin silver print
    (H 9.8, W 9.6) in.
    (24.9 x 24.5) cm.
    Sold for: US$3,125
    Friday, October 7, 2011
    Christie's New York
    Lot 00501
  • Bruce Davidson

    Ohne Titel (from Brooklyn Gang)
    gelatin silver print
    (H 12.1, W 18.1) in.
    (30.7 x 45.9) cm.
    Sold for: US$3,767
    Monday, May 30, 2011
    Lot 00145
  • Bruce Davidson

    gelatin silver print
    (H 7.3, W 10.8) in.
    (18.5 x 27.5) cm.
    Sold for: US$4,185
    Saturday, December 4, 2010
    WestLicht Auction
    Lot 01116
  • Bruce Davidson

    East 100th Street, New York
    gelatin silver print
    (H 18.7, W 14.9) in.
    (47.5 x 37.8) cm.
    Sold for: US$10,399
    Tuesday, November 9, 2010
    Yann Le Mouel
    Lot 00179
  • Bruce Davidson

    Marylin, Arthur Miller et Yves Montand
    gelatin silver print
    (H 8.1, W 11.9) in.
    (20.5 x 30.2) cm.
    Sold for: US$2,739
    Wednesday, June 16, 2010
    Pierre Berge & Associés
    Lot 00747
  • Bruce Davidson

    Ohne Titel (from Brooklyn gang)
    gelatin silver print
    (H 8.7, W 13.0) in.
    (22.2 x 33) cm.
    Sold for: US$3,060
    Thursday, November 26, 2009
    Villa Grisebach Auktionen GmbH
    Lot 01224
  • Bruce Davidson

    Brooklyn gang, girl combing hair
    gelatin silver print
    (H 8.5, W 12.8) in.
    (21.6 x 32.4) cm.
    Sold for: US$6,000
    Thursday, October 16, 2008
    Phillips de Pury & Company New York
    Lot 00049
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