Lot Details

Weegee, Four Men in Topcoats and Hats, 1940. Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches, 40.6 x 50.8 cm. Printed By Sid Kaplan, One of 5 prints from Edition of 3 complete portfolios.

b. 1899 Zloczew, Austria, d. 1968

As legend tells it, Arthur Fellig earned the nickname Weegee during his early career as a freelance press photographer in New York City. His apparent sixth sense for crime often led him to a scene well ahead of the police. Observers likened this sense, actually derived from tuning his radio to the police frequency, to the Ouija board, the popular fortune-telling game. Spelling it phonetically, Fellig took Weegee as his professional name.

With his subjects ranging from wild-eyed adolescent onlookers at a late night gangland slaying to glassy-eyed starlets at Hollywood movie premieres, Weegee could be considered one of the first ambulance chasers. He was as flamboyant as some of his subjects, creating his own mythology, reveling in his own notoriety as well as that of his subjects, and even stamping the backs of his pictures with "Credit Photo by Weegee the Famous."

Weegee also worked in Hollywood as a filmmaker, performer, and technical consultant. His 1945 book Naked City was the inspiration for the 1947 film The Naked City. The Public Eye (1992), starring Joe Pesci, was based on the man himself. [getty.edu]

Lee, Anthony W. Weegee and Naked city / Anthony W. Lee, Richard Meyer. Berkeley : University of California Press, c2008.

Keller, Judith. Weegee : photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum / Judith Keller. Los Angeles : J. Paul Getty Museum, c2005.

Weegee, 1899-1968. Weegee’s world / [edited by] Miles Barth ; essays by Miles Barth, Alain Bergala, Ellen Handy. Boston : Little, Brown in association with the International Center of Photography, New York, c1997.

Weegee, 1899-1968. The Village / by Weegee. New York, N.Y. : Da Capo Press, c1989.

Weegee. Weegee / introduction by André Laude. New York : Pantheon Books ; Paris : Centre National de la Photographie, c1986.

Weegee, 1899-1968. Weegee’s New York : 335 Photographien 1935-1960 : mit einem autobiographischen Text / aus dem Amerikanischen von Reinhard Kaiser. München : Schirmer/Mosel, c1982.

Weegee, 1899-1968. Weegee. Millerton, N.Y. : Aperture, c1978.

Weegee, 1899-1968. Weegee / edited and with an introd. by Louis Stettner. New York : Knopf, 1977.

Weegee, 1899-1968. Weegee’s people. New York : Da Capo Press, 1975, c1946.

Weegee, 1899-1968. Weegee’s creative photography, by Weegee, with Gerry Speck. London, Ward, Lock [1964].

Weegee, 1899-1968. Weegee, by Weegee [pseud.] An autobiography. New York, Ziff-Davis Pub. Co. [1961].

Weegee, 1899-1968. Weegee’s creative camera, by Weegee [pseud.] with Roy Ald. Garden City, New York, Hanover House, 1959.

Weegee, 1899-1968. Naked Hollywood / by Weegee & Mel Harris. New York : Pellegrini & Cudahy, c1953.

Weegee, 1899-1968. Naked city, by Weegee [pseud.] New York, Essential Books [1945].

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  • Pickup Location: California, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 16 x 20 in. (40.64 x 50.8 cm.)
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