Presenting: The Estate of Irene Fay
Over 100 remarkable vintage photographs are once again available to collectors
Irene Fay (1914-1986) led an eventful life. Born in Moscow, Irene’s family fled Russia at the start of the Bolshevik Revolution. This would be the first of several moves and urgent escapes for Irene before settling permanently in New York City in 1948.
While a teenager, Irene began making photos using a Rolleiflex camera. She describes receiving this birthday present as “a blessing in disguise - a true gift”. Trained in dark room techniques in Switzerland by the renowned photographer Gotthard Schuh, Irene began earning an income as a portrait photographer. Once settled in New York, Irene continued making commissioned portraits while also cultivating friendships with André Kertész, Lisette Model, and Diane Arbus. Irene joined the New York Camera Club and continued to refine her practice. Representation at seminal NYC photography venue Witkin Gallery followed, with her “On the Line” series drawing positive critical attention.
Irene continued making photographs until her death in 1986. In the intervening years, Irene’s legacy has not diminished. This past summer, the FFOTO team was hard at work on a project to scan and document over 150 vintage and lifetime prints made and mounted by Irene herself. With those efforts now complete, FFOTO can proudly reintroduce collectors to the photography of Irene Fay.
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As part of our reintroduction, we’ve produced an abundance of content to give collectors context about the artist and her art practice. You’ll find an in-depth and fascinating biography, The Diamonds are in the Enlarger, including a short video featuring Irene’s granddaughter Rosalie Fay Barnes, a favourite portrait subject. We’ve also interviewed Irene’s close friend and adviser, Vance Stevens, who offers first-hand insight into the artist’s life and career. Irene was eminently quotable, as you’ll discover in Irene Fay: In Her Own Words; and Melissa Bessie, a budding collections management professional, offers observations made while processing and scanning Irene’s archive in Cataloguing the Collection. Combined, these pieces offer a comprehensive overview of an artist whose impressive legacy is worthy of reevaluation.
Sourced directly from the artist’s estate, the photographs offered via FFOTO represent almost everything that is currently available by Irene Fay on the open market.
Collectors are invited to inquire about condition reports or additional scans. Start the conversation with an email to info@FFOTO.com