20th-Century Ansel Adams Portfolio
Appraised Value: $30,000 - $50,000
IMAGE: 1 of 4
Appraisal Video: (2:07)
Vice President & Director of Photographs
Swann Auction Galleries
GUEST: Well, this is a portfolio that I purchased from Ansel Adams in 1964. I went to my first museum job, and I thought this would be a great opportunity just to have a small exhibition of Ansel Adams' work, and so I wrote him, and we bought the portfolio.
APPRAISER: These are three representative images from a portfolio of 16 photographs that Adams did of the Yosemite Valley. These photographs were done over a period of almost 40 years. In 1926, Adams took his first trip to Yosemite, made some photographs at that point, and continued to go back. Now, what's important is that they're signed by Adams. They're also archivally mounted. Adams was very concerned with the proper presentation of his photographs. He developed the craft of very fine photographic printing, and these prints were done around 1960, so they're referred to as modern prints that Adams crafted from the original negatives. And as he made these later prints, he reinterpreted them and in many ways, they're very symbolic, I think, of his passion for the environment and making people aware of the American landscape. What did you pay for these images when you acquired them?
GUEST: The portfolio was $100.
GUEST: It was 1964.
APPRAISER: At auction, I would estimate the 16 photographs in the portfolio at $30,000 to $50,000. A bit different from its 1964 price.
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