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From Harlow to Clooney: The largest-ever collection of glamour photography goes up for auction

March 18, 2010 |  5:17 am

Diana Mad about old Hollywood? Now may be your chance to nab a classic photo from Tinseltown's storied history.

Thousands of classic Hollywood glamour photographs from the Michael H. Epstein and Scott E. Schwimer collection will be auctioned off on March 26 and March 27 by Profiles in History, a dealer in guaranteed-authentic original historical autographs, letters, documents, vintage signed photographs and manuscripts.

The collection is recognized as the world’s largest of Hollywood photographer George Hurrell's work, and includes more than 1,000 original vintage photographs from the lensman, as well as 500 camera negatives. 

Included in the lot is Hurrell's iconic portrait of Jean Harlow on a white bearskin rug (created for Vanity Fair magazine, it's expected to sell for well over $20,000) and dozens of valuable 8-by-10 camera negatives from Hurrell’s career, including portraits of Ann Sheridan, Gary Cooper, Bette Davis, Marlene Dietrich, Rita Hayworth and Veronica Lake.

In addition to Hurrell's work, there are dozens of rare prints of Hollywood legends, including a Louise Brooks from 1925 before she signed with Paramount, Marlene Dietrich by Edward Steichen and formerly unseen prints of a teenage Marilyn Monroe.

The impressive collection also includes an avalanche of "master prints" by Richard Avedon, Robert Mapplethorpe, Man Ray, Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts, Cindy Sherman, Julius Schulman, Jock Sturges, Howard Zieff and Edward Steichen, Len Prince and Mel Roberts, among others; 50,000 vintage prints, black-and-white and color negatives and transparencies by legendary Hollywood photographer Harry Langdon; and even fine art pieces by Andy Warhol, Richard Duardo, Keith Haring, Robert Indiana, Roy Lichtenstein and Beatrice Wood.

Epstein and Schwimer decided to sell their collectible photographs to benefit their favorite charitable organizations, primarily the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center (Epstein served as board member for seven years).

Worldwide bidding begins at 12 p.m. PST both days. Bids can be placed in person, via mail, phone, fax or live on the Internet by visiting or

-- Emili Vesilind

Photo: A young Diana Ross, by Harry Langdon. Credit: Profiles in History