National Park Portfolio Purchased Directly from Ansel Adams at Auction in New York

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DALLAS—Ansel Adams’ acclaimed Portfolio Two: The National Parks and Monuments, purchased directly from the artist in 1952 and accompanied by the original receipt by former assistant and lifelong friend Pirkle Jones, may sell for $40,000 when it comes up for auction May 3 in New York. The lot, which will be offered in Heritage Auctions’ spring Photographs Auction, includes 15 images of Adams’s iconic and breathtaking views of America’s National Park system.

“This portfolio is considered Adams’ finest work and it has been held in one family until now makes it all that more important,” said Rachel Peart, Director of Photography at Heritage Auctions. “The fact the owners kept the original typed receipt for $100 gives the portfolio a time capsule quality.”

Another artwork with strong provenance to the artist is Robert Mapplethorpe’s Roger in Fishnets, 1983, which was gifted to the current owner by the model and is accompanied by a letter from the artist and the estate of the artist (est. $15,000+). This marks the first time this work has ever been offered at public auction.

Two important photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson include Île de la Cité, 1952, which was purchased directly from the artist in 1996 (est. $15,000+) and his instantly-recognizable Rue Mouffetard, 1954, preserves a proud French schoolboy happily carrying two bottles of wine (est. $15,000+).

An impressive enlargement by Helmut Newton, David Bowie, Monte Carlo, 1983, is a contact sheet measuring 48-1/4 inches by 53-3/4 inches to show 36 distinctive portraits of the famous rocker (est. $30,000+). 

Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:

A range of contemporary photography by artists ranging from Kwadwo Konado, Wild Honey Collector, Techiman District, 2005, by Pieter Hugo (est. $8,000+) to Flower, 2005, by Mona Kuhn (est. $4,000+).

Terry O’Neill’s Faye Dunaway, Hollywood, 1977, taken the day after the Academy Awards® in March 1977 where Dunaway won Best Actress for her role in Network, (est. $10,000+).

Mad Eyes, Haiti, 1958, by W. Eugene Smith, purchased directly from the artist (est. $5,000+).

New York Stock Exchange, 1936, by Berenice Abbott, whose work capturing New York City on film secured her a job with the Federal Art Project in 1935 and an exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York (est. $6,000+).

Richard Avedon’s Suzy Parker and Daughter (Georgia Belle Florian Coco Chanel de la Salle), 1960, a gift of the artist to Philadelphia interior designer Harris Radin in 1960 (est. $4,000+).

Heritage Auctions is the largest auction house founded in the United States and the world’s third largest, with annual sales of more than $900 million, and 900,000+ online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and receive access to a complete record of prices realized, with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com. 

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