Remember the most amazing photograph of Nobel Laureate Albert Einstein with his tongue sticking out? Regarded as one of the most memorable and ubiquitous photos of Einstein, this photograph has graced the walls of dorms and college rooms for ages – but the original, autographed print of the photo has finally found a real home. Someone recently purchased the original print for a whopping $125,000 (about Rs 80 lakh).
The autographed print was sold on July 27 by the famous Los Angeles-based auction house Nate D. Sanders to an unnamed buyer.
While it is a very famous photograph, it may not be known to all that the photograph was taken at Einstein’s 72nd birthday party celebrated at Princeton University on March 14, 1951.
As the legend goes, it was at the paparazzi, who were trying extremely hard to get the master scientist to pose for them, that Einstein had stuck his tongue out as he left the party. However, it was photographer Arthur Sasse of the wire service UPI who got the lucky shot.
According to the auction house, Einstein himself was extremely fond of this photograph which is why he asked for nine prints from the UPI. He used those prints as personal greeting cards.
While most of the prints were cut only to get Einstein’s face, the 7×10 inch print sold this week offers an extended view of his guests that day. The guests included in the photograph were Frank Aydelotte, an English professor and head of the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton University, and Aydelotte’s wife, Marie Jeanette.
This print even bears an autograph by Einstein: A. Einstein .51.
Memorabilia, prints and other records of Einstein are known to fetch great value at auctions. Earlier this year, it was reported that someone spent around $54,000 (more than 34 lakh) to get hold of Einstein’s written response to a Physics teacher in 1953 who had questions about his theory of special relativity. Furthermore, in 2013, an Einstein-inscribed Bible was sold for $68,500 (over 43 lakh). And in 2014, $12,500 (close to 8 lakh) was spent by a bidder in getting a letter written by Einstein in 1939 to a New York hat merchant who helped Jews escape the Nazi regime.
The most remarkable auction in recent years was that of Einstein’s “God letter”. The letter, in which Einstein expresses his views that religious beliefs are “childish,” sold for just over $3 million (more than 19 crore) on eBay in 2012.