AVIATION—HOWARD HUGHES AIRCRAFT COMPANY. BRENKUS, CHUCK, photographer. An archive of approximately 317 photographs, the majority related to Hughes Aircraft Company, 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 to 15 1/4 x 20 inches (most 8 1/2 x 11 in),
Lot 36
AVIATION—HOWARD HUGHES AIRCRAFT COMPANY.
BRENKUS, CHUCK, photographer.
An archive of approximately 317 photographs, the majority related to Hughes Aircraft Company, 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 to 15 1/4 x 20 inches (most 8 1/2 x 11 in),
US$ 10,000 - 15,000
£ 7,600 - 11,000

Voices of the 20th Century

16 Jun 2015, 13:00 EDT

New York

Lot Details
AVIATION—HOWARD HUGHES AIRCRAFT COMPANY. BRENKUS, CHUCK, photographer. An archive of approximately 317 photographs, the majority related to Hughes Aircraft Company, 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 to 15 1/4 x 20 inches (most 8 1/2 x 11 in),
AVIATION—HOWARD HUGHES AIRCRAFT COMPANY.
BRENKUS, CHUCK, photographer. An archive of approximately 317 photographs, the majority related to Hughes Aircraft Company, 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 to 15 1/4 x 20 inches (most 8 1/2 x 11 in), gelatin silver prints, 1947-1959, Mercury, Nevada, Culver City, California, and Guam, many with "Hughes Aircraft Photo," "Hughes Aviation," and/or "Confidential" stamps to verso, some with publication notations in grease pencil or pen, numerous duplicates mostly among the aerial views, overall very good condition with occasional curling and slight fading, some staining to photo boards of large photos.

IMPRESSIVE COLLECTION OF HUGHES AIRCRAFT AND RELATED AVIATION PHOTOGRAPHS, FROM HUGHES AIRCRAFT'S HEAD PHOTOGRAPHER. From the late 1940s through the 1950s, Chuck Brenkus served as Head Technical Research Cine, Still, and Photo Instrumentation Photographer for the Hughes Aircraft Company documenting many Hughes projects and the company's research and daily workings. Comprised mainly of Brenkus' work spanning this period, the present lot includes: eight photos of the Hughes H-4 Spruce Goose, several of which are stamped November 2, 1947, the date of the plane's single, unsuccessful flight, and including two large-format prints of the plane resting on the ocean's surface; a German ME-262A Swallow fighter plane with Nazi insignia at the Hughes plant's airfield; a group of approximately 35 photographs documenting the development and construction of Hughes XH-17 and XH-28 experimental military cargo helicopters and including test flights of the former; various other helicopters, circa 1957; aerial images of a P-38 Lightning in flight; numerous aerial images of the Hughes Aircraft plant in Culver City, California and other aerial views of Los Angeles; and images of Hughes employees at work.
Roughly two-fifths of the lot is comprised of Brenkus' post-Hughes work and includes a crew mounting cameras to a helicopter in advance of atomic bomb tests at Nevada's Mercury Test Site circa 1968; images of the dummy city used in the test; aerial views of Los Angeles freeways under construction circa 1964; the Los Angeles coastline; Loyola University; aerial views of Los Angeles golf courses, etc (with numerous duplicates among the aerial views). Also included is a collection of Hughes Aircraft booklets, manuals, and paperwork, some featuring Brenkus's photographs, as well as numerous negatives and slides, mostly from the Post-Hughes era.
Brenkus (1918-1994) applied his photographic talents to an impressively diverse array of subjects. He served as an official U.S. Navy photographer during the Second World War, after which he studied photography at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. Following his stint at Hughes Aircraft and another with defense contractor Litton Industries, Brenkus turned his attention to sports, ultimately establishing himself as one of the premier golf photographers in the industry. For more Brenkus photography, see lots 31, 53, 128, 132, and 133.
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