Ansel Adams Museum Set Achieves $1.2 Million at Doyle
New York, NY -- Highlighting Doyle's auction of Photographs on December 14, 2017 was an Ansel Adams Museum Set that achieved $1.2 million. Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was the preeminent 20th century photographer of Western landscape, and a founder of the influential Group f.64, which included such luminaries as Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham. Prepared several years before Adams’s death, this Museum Set of seventy-five images is among the most comprehensive known to exist. Such sets more typically consist of between twenty-five and fifty images.
This was the first time a set has been offered with the permission of The Ansel Adams Gallery and the artist’s grandson, Matthew Adams. Legal restrictions generally prevent sales of Museum Sets. See the press release of November 28, 2017 from Mr. Adams at The Ansel Adams Gallery. Read below or click here.
As Mr. Adams notes: “It is clear that the prints in this specific set are no longer subject to the legal restrictions that Ansel made” and “the terms of the agreement with Ansel have been met and it is for the College of New Rochelle to determine its disposition.” He adds “We believe this is an exception, and that, by contract, other Museum Sets must remain intact and intended for public display”; this is therefore likely to be a unique opportunity to purchase prints from a Museum Set.
The Museum Sets contain as their nucleus ten of the most famous Adams images, including Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico 1941 (est. $30,000-40,000); Mt. Williamson from Manzanar (est. $20,000-30,000); Aspens, Northern New Mexico (est. $12,000-18,000); Winter Sunrise, the Sierra Nevada (est. $15,000-25,000); Monolith, the Face of Half Dome (est. $15,000-25,000); Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite (est. $25,000-35,000); Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley (est. $15,000-25,000); Tenaya Creek, Dogwood, Rain (est. $7,000-10,000); The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park (est. $30,000-50,000) and Frozen Lake and Cliffs, the Sierra Nevada (est. $20,000-30,000). There were a further sixty possible prints that could be purchased as part of a set. Those few who purchased all seventy received an five additional prints, the majestic 1940 Surf Sequence (est. $40,000-60,000).
Spanning Adams’ entire career, this offering includes all the artist’s best-known work, in prints of scrupulous quality prepared in Adams’ workshop under his direct supervision and signed by him. The Museum Set, acquired by a private collector from Adams in the 1980s, was donated to The College of New Rochelle in 2012, and was offered for sale on their behalf.
The Ansel Adams Museum Set comprised lots 127 through 198 in the Photographs auction on December 14.