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Auction: Kleinhans Department Store Photo Collection

Who would have ever thought that a collection of historic photos* featuring window displays at Kleinhans Department Store in Buffalo would be so coveted?

On December 11th, Swann Auction Galleries in New York City will be auctioning off over 220 photos of the displays that documented menswear at what was touted as the largest men’s clothier in the United States. The window displays were quite impressive, and the images tell the tale of an era of fashion when men donned impeccable suits, neckwear, knits, sporting wear, hats, coats, and shoes on a daily basis. The images also speak of societal values, as well as Buffalo’s station in the country.


“Each photo depicts menswear in a variety of jaunty and modern designs meant to appeal to everyone in Buffalo, from the career to college man. Nearly all of these striking images were photographed at night.” – Swann Auction Galleries.

The collection is estimated to sell for between $6,000 – $9,000. A similar album that went up for auction last April fetched a handsome $15,000. These types of original photography images are becoming extremely popular and sought after by Vernacular Photography collectors.


If you are interested in following the lot, or maybe even want to bid on the historic images, please visit Swann Auction Galleries by clicking here.

*Silver prints, each approximately 7 1/2×9 1/2 inches (19.1×24.1 cm.), mounted to linen, some with a Kleinhans Display Director credit in the negative, and each with a Kleinhans hand stamp on mount verso, some with a date and notation, in ink. Oblong 4to, green boards with an embossed Master Made Clothes Cincinnati cover and a split pin binding, worn. (1930s)



Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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