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Legendary Baltimore Sun Photos Up For Auction

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — He’s a Baltimore icon. You’ve heard his name and seen thousands of his photos. A. Aubrey Bodine was the legendary photographer for the Baltimore Sun.

Ron Matz reports you’ll have a chance to buy some of his amazing images Saturday in Towson.

From the Chesapeake Bay, to the Preakness and the streets of Baltimore, A. Aubrey Bodine captured Maryland like no one else.

“He was known for his black and white photography. Before the days of digital photography, the Internet and high-definition TVs, this is how people were able to learn what was going on in Maryland,” Paul Cooper, from Alex Cooper Auctioneers, said. “This is what was put in the newspaper. We have some beautiful photographs going back to the 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s. They capture slices of life in Baltimore, as well as the state of Maryland.”

Alex Cooper appraiser John Locke catalogued Bodine’s work. Seven thousand of his photographs will be up for bid at Alex Cooper Auctioneers. All photos are from the Sunpapers archives.

Locke says it took about four weeks to get the collection together.

“They came in in a lot of boxes. It took a long time but we’ve organized them by category,” said Locke. “So those who are interested in the sale, it will be easy to find what you’re looking for.”

Locke says photographs include water scenes, occupations and shots of Baltimore.

“Here’s a guy who found his calling,” Locke said. “You can tell he loves these photographs. He loved what he was doing.”

Bodine started working in 1920 as a messenger boy for the Baltimore Sun and stayed with it until he died in 1970.

“He just loved photography. He was attracted to a lot of different scenes — portraits, people, the waterfront, landmarks, just every day life in Maryland,” Cooper said.

One of his most famous photographs, from 1958, is the Lamplighters of Lemmon Street.

The images are from another era: from the 1958 All-Star game at Memorial Stadium, to the motion picture censor board, to an unusual look at Baltimore’s famous marble steps.

“It will be ideal to frame them and give them as gifts,” said Cooper. “It’s a rare opportunity because they come from the Sunpapers archives and some of the photographs are 70 or 80 years old.”

“I think most of them are going to sell,” Locke said. “Most of the images are iconic Maryland images.”

Locke says there’s something for everybody.

“I think people will show up and find something they’ll want to take home,” said Locke.

A. Aubrey Bodine worked for the Sun for 50 years.  Saturday’s auction at Alex Cooper in Towson begins at 11 a.m.

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