But that's not the half of it. Siegel owns a print of Nat Fein's strangely moving "Babe Ruth's Farewell," shot at Yankee Stadium on June 13, 1948. The 10-year-old Siegel, who lived across the street from the ballpark, was at this historic event, and still remembers it vividly. "I was finally able to buy a print around 1993," he says."It's probably not a vintage print, but it's a signed print." (Vintage prints - positive images made from the original negative by the photographer at approximately the same time the negative was made - are the Holy Grail of collectors.) Similarly, Siegel owns a very untypical Weegee print taken around 1944, called "Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, West 81st Street," that pictures a giant balloon being inflated. In the `70s and `80s, Siegel lived on that very street, and would watch the parade preparations every year with his daughter, Stacey.
So what makes for a sharp-eyed collector? Being a sharp-eyed photographer doesn't hurt. Though Siegel eventually gave up photography for collecting, he started taking photographs while he was in the Army in Germany in the early `60s and he later studied with the likes of Alexey Brodovitch and Lisette Model. Seen in the book's preface, a sunstreaked 1962 gelatin silver print of his, taken in a German forest, is good enough to be in his own collection. For more details on Siegel'sacquisitions, see the excellent Siegelgale-designed website at onemanseye.com.