Three World Records Set at Bonhams Photographs Sale

New York—Three new world records were set at Bonhams’ Photographs sale on April 28.   

  • Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California, 1944, a print by Ansel Adams (1902-1984) that fetched $179,000.  It measures 22 1/8 x 30 5/8in and is the most valuable print in this size to sell at auction. The mural-sized print was taken 14,444 feet above sea level and about 11,000 feet above a little Californian town called Lone Pine, an environment that awoke in the photographer a great reverence for the Earth’s fast-fading natural beauty. This work was a gift from Adams to 1972 Pulitzer Prize winner, Wallace Stegner and his wife, Mary Stegner, with whom Adams was friends for over forty years.
  • Maroon Bells, near Aspen Colorado, 1951 printed in 1974, also by Adams sold for $112,500, soaring past the high estimate of $70,000.
  • Hiromu Kira’s The Thinker, a circa 1930 vintage print and the photographer’s most iconic photograph, which sold for $27,500.  Kira took this photograph when a customer at the camera shop that he worked at needed instructions as to how to operate a recently purchased camera. Kira and the customer went to several locations, including the Hollywood Dam. There, Kira asked the customer to sit on the steps and took this famous image.

Director of Photographs, Judith Eurich, comments, “The majestic beauty of Ansel Adams’ photographs of the American West continues to draw interest from new generations of American collectors. Today’s auction demonstrated the strength of the demand for top-quality work.”

The next Photographs sale will be held in New York in October 2015.

Auction Guide