Vintage Nat Fein "Babe Bows Out" Photograph
Nat Fein 1914 - 2000
Nat Fein was an inventive press photographer at the New York Herald Tribune from 1933 to 1966. Albert Einstein, Ty Cobb, Queen Elizabeth and Harry S. Truman were among the many icons photographed by the insightful eye of Nat Fein. He won more press photo awards than any of his contemporaries. Although considered to be one of the greatest human interest photographers in journalism, he carried the distinction of having taken “the most celebrated photograph in sports history.” (NY Times 1992). Fein’s dramatic Babe Ruth image was the first sports picture to win a Pulitzer Prize.
The Babe Ruth image was taken on June 13th, 1948 at Yankee Stadium for the New York Herald Tribune. It was the 25th anniversary of the stadium and the day Babe’s number was retired. Ruth, thin and frail as a result of a long illness, emerged from the dugout into “the caldron of sound he must have known better than any other man” W.C. Hines, U.S. Sun (1948). Everyone knew then, as Ruth must have himself known, that the Babe had worn his old uniform for the last time. He died only two months later on August 16th, 1948.
The Estate of Nat Fein makes available a vintage silver gelatin Pulitzer Prize photographic print (approx. 10.5” by 12.5”) developed by the hand of Nat Fein shortly after it was taken in 1948. The print was made from the original 4 x 5 negative and is stamped in the reverse “Photo by Nat Fein, Staff Photographer New York Herald Tribune.” This unique print was Nat Fein’s personal copy and has remained with the Fein family until now. It is one of two such prints currently in the possession of Nat Fein’s estate.
The above vintage print is accompanied by a 16” X 20” contemporary silver gelatin print of the Babe Bows Out with Nat Fein’s signature in ink located in the front of the photograph. It is one of nine such prints currently in the possession of Nat Fein’s estate.
The image was originally used by the New York Herald Tribune, which first published “The Babe Bows Out” on the evening of Sunday June 13th, 1948. The photograph was buried in the sports section of the paper as the editors hastily found a place for the article in the evening edition. The next day, the Tribune carried “The Babe Bows Out” on the front page and the photograph later went on to win a Pulitzer Prize for Nat Fein. In 1999 The Babe Bows Out photo was hailed by Life Magazine as one of the greatest pictures of the twentieth century.
Information as provided by The EstateEstimate: $15,000 - $20,000