1963 Diane Arbus Photograph
Appraised Value: $15,000 - $20,000 (2014)
IMAGE: 1 of 4
Appraisal Video: (2:04)
GUEST: It's a photograph I got from my uncle. He collected old photographs. Since he passed away, we inherited it. All I know is that it's by Diane Arbus from 1963, and it's called Woman in a Rooming House Parlor.
APPRAISER: This is a photograph by Diane Arbus. She was very interested in photographing people that were a little bit different than the norm, and she sought people who had struggles with their life. Diane Arbus was a very important photographer, considered one of the giants of photography in the 20th century.
GUEST: Oh, really?
APPRAISER: She had a major show at the Metropolitan Museum a few years ago. Also a show at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Her books have been in print continuously since the early '70s. And she's probably one of the most famous photographers in the world.
APPRAISER: This photograph has a stamp on the back, which tells us quite a bit about it. The title, Lady in a Rooming House, as you said. Albion, New York, 1963. This print was made by Neil Selkirk. It was not made by Diane Arbus. The signature is Diane Arbus's daughter, Doon Arbus. She's the executor of the estate.
APPRAISER: Diane Arbus committed suicide at the age of 48 in 1971, and Neil Selkirk printed this photograph after her death.
APPRAISER: Do you have any idea what value this has?
GUEST: When we saw what the name was, we looked it up a little bit. We were seeing that people were asking for, like, $10,000, $15,000, $16,000 online. So I mean, I don't know what they're selling for, though.
APPRAISER: The price of this at auction would be estimated at between $15,000 and $20,000.
APPRAISER: A few years ago, the price would have been much higher. During the period of her exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, there was tremendous excitement about her photography. It might have been $30,000 or $40,000.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.