Oct 19, 2017 - Sale 2458

Sale 2458 - Lot 103

Estimate: $ 80,000 - $ 120,000
ANSEL ADAMS (1902-1984)
Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico. Silver print, the image measuring 15 1/2x19 1/2 inches (39.4x49.5 cm.), the Hi Art Illustration board mount 22x24 3/4 inches (55.9x62.9 cm.), with Adams' signature, in ink, on mount recto, and his Carmel hand stamp with the title, in ink, on mount verso. 1941; printed circa 1965

Additional Details

From Ansel Adams; to Caroline W. and James Walter Baker; by descent.

James W. Baker (1926-2017), a veteran of World War II, started his career as a young "Mad Man" in the Bay Area. Upon visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1965, he saw a print of Moonrise and mentioned to his wife how much he admired it. Soon after she contacted Ansel Adams directly and purchased a print (for $100) as a surprise Father's Day gift.

Baker and his family subsequently moved to New York City, where he was an advertising executive with Reader's Digest magazine. He proudly displayed the artwork in his office until the mid-1970s, when he discovered that the photograph was quite valuable. Subsequently, he moved the print to his Greenwich, Connecticut home.

Adams' iconic image and magisterial print has been associated with the family for 51 years. According to Baker's daughter, "My father only lived on the east and west coasts, but he loved the Southwest. This photograph was very special to him."

Haas and Senf, Ansel Adams in the Lane Collection (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), pl. 37; Stillman, Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs (Boston), p. 175; Ansel Adams (Morgan & Morgan), pl. 63; Ansel Adams, Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs (Boston), p. 40; Szarkowski, Ansel Adams at 100 (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), pl. 96; Stillman, Ansel Adams: The Grand Canyon and the Southwest (Boston), frontispiece; Alinder and Szarkowski, Ansel Adams: Classic Images (Boston), pl. 32; Doty, Photography in America (Whitney Museum of American Art), pp. 130-31.