UC Berkeley’s library system is the fourth largest library in the United States, so it’s no wonder that treasures are often forgotten and buried inside the rare collections. Case in point: a massive collection of signed prints by Ansel Adams have been discovered in one of the 32 libraries, just sitting around in a box.
Posts Tagged ‘anseladams’
If you have a free 20 minutes, here’s a great 1958 documentary on the life and work of iconic landscape photographer Ansel Adams. Created while Adams was living at a house near the Golden Gate Bridge, the film provides a look into his home, interests, attitudes toward art, camera equipment, and photographic techniques.
A fascinating story from the art world: back in 2010, British businessman Andy Fields purchased a collection of 5 paintings from a Las Vegas garage sale for $5. When he decided to have one of the paintings reframed, he discovered an early Andy Warhol sketch hidden behind it. The signed drawing is believed to be of 1930s singer Rudy Vallee and created when Warhol was just 10 years old. Warhol paintings fetch absurd prices on the auction block — the artist is considered to be the bellwether of the art market — and the sketch is estimated to be worth a whopping $2 million.
The story is reminiscent of the $45 garage sale photos that were reportedly lost Ansel Adams works. Although initially estimated to be worth $200 million, the story fizzled after evidence emerged that the images were likely created by an “Uncle Earl”.
(via Boing Boing)
[...] an elegant, moving, and lyrical portrait of this quintessentially American photographer. The documentary weaves together archival footage, photographic images, dramatic readings of the artist’s own writing, and interviews with leading photographers, historians, curators, naturalists, as well as Adams’s family, friends, and colleagues, to tell the story of a man who was at once a visionary photographer, a pioneer in photographic technique, and an ardent crusader for the cause of environmentalism.
It’s about 80 minutes long. You can find out more about the film here.
Did you know that in addition to making his famous landscape images, Ansel Adams made ends meet by shooting commercial work? Although he made photos for clients as large as IBM, AT&T, and LIFE, Adams didn’t like his job. In a 1938 letter to a friend, he wrote,
I have to do something in the relatively near future to regain the right track in photography. I am literally swamped with “commercial” work — necessary for practical reasons, but very restraining to my creative work. [#]
It was around this time that one of his photos was chosen for the cover of LIFE magazine — a cover that’s now considered one of the publications 20 worst covers. LIFE notes, that shortly after the issue was published, “the photographer stopped taking pictures of lutists and began photographing Yosemite.”
Here’s a rare behind-the-scenes look into Ansel Adams’ home in Carmel, California and the custom built darkroom in which most of Adams’ famous prints were created. It’s pretty amazing how much editing Adams’ did in transforming the plain negatives into the beautiful works of art hanging on walls around the world.
The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways.– Ansel Adams
Michael Adams, Ansel’s son and the “tour guide” in this video, also shares some of Ansel’s tools, techniques, and tricks.
(via f stoppers)
A huge story last year was when a painter named Rick Norsigian came across 65 glass negatives at a garage sale, purchasing them for $45. He then had them examined by experts, who told him that they were previously undiscovered Ansel Adams photographs worth at least $200 million. Just as the find was being heralded as one of the greatest in art history, Ansel Adams’ relatives and Publishing Rights Trust expressed skepticism that they were in fact Adams’. It then came to light that the photos might actually belong to a man named Earl Brooks who once lived in the same city as Norsigian (Fresno, California).
KTVU in Oakland is reporting that a Bay Area woman named Mariam l. Walton has come forward with apparently solid proof that the photographs were not taken by Ansel Adams but her Uncle Earl. She was watching KTVU report on the story Tuesday when she suddenly saw a photograph of the Jeffrey Pine on Sentinal Dome and recognized it as a print her uncle Earl Brooks made back in 1923.
We reported yesterday that a set of glass plate negatives purchased for $45 in 2000 were verified by a group of experts as being created by Ansel Adams and worth upwards of $200 million.
Rick Norsigian, a painter based in Fresno, California, was browsing through a garage sale in 2000 when he came across two small boxes with 65 glass plate negatives. He was able to purchase the photographs for $45 after bargaining them down from $70. Now it turns out he made one of the biggest finds in photographic history.
Experts are now saying that the negatives were created by Ansel Adams between 1919 and the 1930′s — before Adams became famous — and that the photographs could be worth at least $200 million.
The previous owner purchased the plates at a warehouse salvage in Los Angeles prior to selling them to Norsigian.
TIME reports that although experts have concluded that the photos are indeed by Adams, some remain skeptical. Matthew Adams, the grandson of Ansel Adams, is reported as saying,
Mr. Norsigian has been claiming these negatives were made by Ansel Adams for many years. I am unaware of anyone knowledgeable agreeing with him.
Next time you’re at a garage sale or warehouse salvage, give those old looking negatives an extra hard look. You never know what you might find.