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Arts

Houston’s Most Important Photo Auction Ups the Bidding Fun

Serious Collectors and Amateur Art Enthusiasts Embrace Houston Center for Photography's Big Event

BY // 02.27.19

Since Houston Center for Photography’s founding in 1981, its annual Print Auction has been the nonprofit’s anchor of its yearly fundraising efforts. The 2019 version promises to be no different.

Chaired by photo-focused trio Karen Chiao, Bryn Larsen and Libbie Masterson, the HCP Print Auction has now partnered with Artsy to ensure bidding wars begin before the big event kicks off Thursday, February 28, at 6 pm at The Briar Club.

The Print Auction began as an intimate event at the fabled Paradise Bar & Grill, a restaurant owned by power collector couple Betty and Freck Fleming. In its early years curators such as Clint Willour would serve as auctioneer, before the Print Auction’s followers slowly grew and spread to incorporate regional photography collectors and artists into HCP’s annual fundraising payday.

Soon enough works from names such as Ansel Adams and Edward Steichen were auctioned off and the HCP Print Auction’s stature grew in collecting circles.

In the four decades since its humble beginnings, HCP now boasts a state-of-the-art exhibition space headquartered on West Alabama complete with a library; classrooms; its own award-winning magazine, Spot; and, perhaps most importantly, a commitment to outreach in schools (such as Austin High School), Texas Children’s Hospital, and community centers in and around Houston.

HCP’s educational impact serves more than 4,000 children each year via approximately 300 classes. An additional 24,000 visitors flock to its Museum District galleries. The photographic nonprofit mounts approximately 12 exhibitions annually and admission is always free.

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Consequently, its annual Print Auction is the engine that keeps HCP’s operations possible.

As HCP plans a renovation of its on-site Learning Center, the words of longtime Print Auction supporters Anne Tucker and Clint Willour ring loudly: “Bid high and bid often!”

Now, in partnership with Artsy, that is easier than ever do to. Click here to start bidding on silent auction lots – including works by Thedra Cullar-Ledford, Torrie Groening, and more. The bidding closes the night of the auction, Thursday, February 28, at 9:15 pm.

And to browse and reserve live auction lots, featuring pieces from photographic artists including Julie Blackmon, Elliott Erwitt, Herb Ritts, Gay Block, R.J. Kern, Renate Aller and others, click here.

To bid in advance, you must place a max reserve before the auction begins Thursday, February 28, at 7:45 pm. At that point, all pre-registered Artsy bidders can participate in the live auction and watch the drama unfold in real-time.

As always, collectors of all stripes are encouraged to bid – lots open as low as $100.

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