There is immensity to Yosemite that relates to both time and place – it pervades us here; it makes us feel humble. But there is also a romantic courtship that seems so genuine that, in spite of our diminutive status within these walls
In Yosemite right now, the waterfalls are roaring and the showy Dogwoods are in bloom! A true harbinger of Spring, the blossoms emerge like constellations of stars against the bare forest backdrop.
With this intimate and quiet photograph, Ansel Adams brought forth the striking serenity of nature, as William Blake once wrote, “there can be a world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wildflower.” Many of Adams’ images draw our attention to the beauty of the everyday through the close view of his camera. It’s been said that we only protect what we love, and we only love what we know. Ansel Adams has helped us to know the natural world, and his images of the American landscape have inspired generations.
Ansel Adams made this image with a 5 inch by 7 inch view camera in 1938, the year he trekked through the high sierra with Edward Weston. To capture the 12 blossoms in this spectacular spray of dogwoods, he placed them atop a nearby rock covered with pine needles and lichen creating a very contemporary composition.
The Sierra Club published “Dogwood Blossoms” in 1960 after Ansel Adams selected it, along with 15 other images, for inclusion in Portfolio III, Yosemite Valley. Later, Adams selected it for his Museum Set Collection, a retrospective portfolio of what he considered his strongest work. This striking image has been published in many books and catalogs and is one of his best-known photographs.
See this newly released Dogwood Blossoms Modern Replica, available in six sizes.
The Ansel Adams Gallery proudly featured some of its finest examples of original, vintage, and mural-sized photographs by Ansel Adams at The Photography Show. The response was overwhelmingly positive from collectors, museum curators, art advisors, photographers and photo-enthusiasts.
For those of you who weren’t able to attend this year, we are pleased to offer a select number of these superb images for sale, including the ones featured below (all of which are framed to museum standards). The entire selection of our gallery’s available photographs can be viewed on our website under Original Photographs.
To take advantage of this exciting opportunity, please contact Brittany Moorefield, the Director of Photography Sales, by email at email@example.com or by phone at (857) 523-8100. Read more about our experience at AIPAD this year!
About Our Experience at AIPAD 2018
Every year in April, photography dealers from around the world descend on New York for one of the world’s most prestigious annual photography events; this year was an exceptional gathering. The Photography Show, hosted by the Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) is the longest-running and foremost exhibition dedicated to the photographic medium, offering a wide range of museum-quality work, including contemporary, modern, and 19th-century photographs. More than 100 of the leading fine art photography galleries from around the world, including the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, Mexico, the Middle East, and South America were represented in this 38th edition of the fair. The Ansel Adams Gallery was honored to be invited to this exciting and distinguished artistic venue.
During the five day event, there were numerous talks by collectors, curators, critics and other influential members of the photography world. Thousands of people visited the exhibition and The Ansel Adams’ booth garnered quite a bit of attention from dealers and industry insiders who were amazed at our outstanding collection of works by Ansel Adams, particularly the five mural-sized photographs. Most fair-goers had never had the opportunity to view one mural, much less five! We believe that the Winter Sunrise mural, which was hung prominently in the center of our booth, was photographed more than any other work in the entire fair! One young boy walked by with his family and exclaimed, “Mommy, I know that picture, I saw it in a book, it’s Winter Sunrise!” Which shows, it is never too young to start art education! We also had several groups from local universities and photography clubs come by to discuss and admire up-close our iconic prints.
Matthew Adams, the grandson of Ansel Adams and current president of The Ansel Adams Gallery, was in attendance at our gallery’s booth throughout the fair. Many of the fairgoers were delighted to meet him in person, and in many cases, shared their personal stories of how Ansel Adams had touched their lives in a variety of different ways. We are grateful to our many collectors and fans that came to see us at AIPAD from as far away as San Diego, Chicago, Delaware and Philadelphia; we don’t always get to meet our clients in person, so it was a pleasure for us to get to know them and have the opportunity to discuss their interest in photography.
The Ansel Adams Gallery’s Inaugural Exhibition at AIPAD
Yosemite and Alan Ross have a storied history. Mr. Ross has been photographing this hallowed valley since he first came to work for Ansel Adams in 1974. Many adventures followed — the camera in tow as he developed his language of light.
Photographer Michael Frye has been working in and around Yosemite National Park for three decades. During that time he has thoroughly explored this vast, beautiful, and diverse region
Ansel Adams is a distinct paradigm of the American West from his wild adventures to his modern methods and embrace of technology, along with his romanticizing of the open spaces and their vernacular — and all the way down to his bolo and white stetson.
Original gelatin silver print of “Aspens, Northern New Mexico” available in a 16 x 20 inch format, signed in pencil, printed in the mid-1970s and in “Excellent” condition. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (888) 238-9244 for more details and pricing.
It may come as a surprise for some to learn that at one point in Ansel Adams’ life, he contemplated and was fraught with the decision whether to become a classical pianist or a photographer.
From a very early age, Ansel taught himself to play the piano and read music. He began taking formal lessons when he was twelve, and practicing the piano became an integral aspect to his home schooling. Two years later, he would visit Yosemite National Park for the first time with his family, and become utterly enthralled by its majestic beauty. By age eighteen, he had decided upon a career as a concert pianist, all the meanwhile having taken up photography as a burgeoning passion. The decision as to whether or not to pursue classical piano or fine art photography was quite difficult for him, something that he discusses in his autobiography. One could argue that the dedicated training and discipline required to play the piano during some of the most formative years of his childhood laid the foundational framework for his unwavering work ethic and dedication to photography.
In many ways, there is a musical and poetic element to Ansel’s photography. His ability to capture not only a “picture” but an “expression” of his own experiences is utterly magical. When he exposed the horizontal and vertical negatives of “Aspens, Northern New Mexico” he recalled the details of his experience: “I immediately knew there were wonderful images to be made in the area… We were in the shadow of the mountains, the light was cool and quiet and no wind was stirring. The aspen trunks were slightly greenish and the leaves were a vibrant yellow. The forest floor was covered with a tangle of russet shrubs. It was very quiet and visually soft, and would have been ideal for a color photograph…” Yet what Ansel envisioned in black-and-white was “a considerable departure from reality”. This underscores the significance of his ability to first visualize an image, and then through his technical mastery, record his own experience. Ansel Adams’ original photograph of “Aspens, Northern New Mexico” is a symphony of tonal values.
When you compare prints of “Aspens, Northern New Mexico” there can be quite a difference between one print to another. Some of the earlier prints that he made are lighter, whereas, some of the later prints are significantly darker. Much of the image itself is black; yet it is that brilliant glistening aspen tree in the center that stands out as a result of the high contrast that many associate with Ansel’s photography. He is often quoted for saying, “The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways.” Many of these subtle details and delicate nuances distinguish one print’s “interpretation” from another. His formulation of the Zone System, along with highly disciplined and refined darkroom skills, informed his printmaking and resulted in beautiful individually hand-printed photographs, such as this example of “Aspens, Northern New Mexico”. Its richly detailed, pin-sharp clarity and overall balance in tonal variation distinguishes it as a superb example of fine art photography. Its classical overtones are indicative of his printing style during the mid-1970s, and its condition is excellent.
Ansel Adams was at times quiet, but incredibly expressive throughout his career: first as an aspiring concert pianist, then as a world renown photographer. In many ways he changed the course of history, not only through his printed photographs, but in a myriad of other ways – as an ardent environmentalist, founder of Group f/64, pioneer of the Zone System, and key player in establishing the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art. With his hands he created extraordinary photographs. With his words he inspired others through his poetic commentary, persuasive language and informative writings. In doing so, he brought photography into the same realm of painting, music and other fine art forms, similarly capable of expressing and evoking the human emotion and our response to the beauty in nature.
Virtually everyone with whom he encountered has a memorable and favorable story about Ansel Adams. Music would continue to inform his work, and color his livelihood with a piano stationed in his living room, amidst photographic prints, murals, and other artifacts that the Adams collected over the years. If you could go back in time and mingle at one of the Adams’ cocktail parties or social gatherings, you might have heard the lively touch of his fingertips at the piano.
The Ansel Adams Gallery will be introducing a sensational mural of “Aspens, Northern New Mexico” in a large horizontal 32×40 inch format. Recently at Christie’s 2017 spring auction, a mural of the same image, with similar but slightly smaller dimensions, sold for $440,000. To learn more about our gallery’s selection of murals, please contact the Director of Photography Sales, Brittany Moorefield, by email at email@example.com or by phone at (888) 238-9244.
************************** For Immediate Release **************************
In the late 1970s, as the prices for Ansel Adams’ original photographs exploded in value, Ansel and his advisors developed a plan to be able to have his work more easily exhibited and seen by future generations. He created the Museum Set edition, sets of prints of his photographs, mostly the classic, iconic images that people have come to know and love, but also works that, while not as popular, he felt were important to his legacy. These sets would be sold, at a significant discount to then current prices, to carefully selected individuals with a history of making donations to art and educational institutions, under the agreement between Ansel and the purchaser that the set would be donated, in its entirety, to an art or educational institution.
The original agreements always named the originally intended designee, and allowed for Ansel to unilaterally cancel the contract if he felt that the purchaser was not going to follow through with the agreement.
The standard form of the agreements was later (posthumously) amended to reflect that the sets were to always remain intact, and if the purchaser were to sell or deaccession them, they had to go to a public or nonprofit art or education institution. The same stipulation was required of any successor owner, that they remain intact and sold or transferred to a public or nonprofit art or education institution, with the same ongoing stipulation. Prints purchased under those later contracts, therefore, by legal agreement, did not, do not, and will not have an unrestricted title that can easily be transferred. The Museum Sets and individual prints from Museum Sets have irregularly come to the market, almost always from the original purchaser or their descendants. As this is contrary to the written agreement between Ansel and the purchaser, we (Ansel’s family and estate) have consistently and successfully fought to enforce the agreement that they be donated to an institution. We have been assisted by many other people and institutions – dealers and auction houses throughout the United States – who recognize that the agreements with Ansel are legally binding and as such have refused to offer them for sale as contrary to law, precedent, and Ansel’s intent. We appreciate those efforts and everyone’s continued vigilance.
On December 14, 2017, a Museum Set will be available through Doyle Auctions in New York City. This set was initially acquired in 1981 from Ansel under the original standard agreement. It was donated by the family of the original purchaser to the College of New Rochelle, where it has been exhibited for students, faculty, and the neighboring public. While we would of course prefer that it stay intact and on public display, the terms of the agreement with Ansel have been met and it is for the College of New Rochelle to determine its disposition.
We have worked with the College to clearly identify the provenance of these prints. Each print is marked on the reverse with a unique number from Ansel’s studio and the “Museum Set” wet stamp.
Also on each print in this set are two wet stamps:
The College of New Rochelle
Gift of Caryl Horwitz
by the Board of Trustees of
The College of New Rochelle
It is clear that the prints in this specific set are no longer subject to the legal restrictions that Ansel made. We believe this is an exception, and that, by contract, other Museum Sets must remain intact and intended for public display. We will continue to enforce Ansel’s agreements to the fullest extent possible, and ask the broader art photography market to do the same. In general, Museum Set prints that are not clearly marked and identifiable as having been deaccessioned from a public or nonprofit institution are on the market contrary to Ansel’s agreements, have restricted title. We hope that the market will continue to shun these transactions and value them commensurately with any restricted sale item.
President, The Ansel Adams Gallery
Grandson, Ansel Adams
THE ANSEL ADAMS GALLERY
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA 95389