Oct 20, 2022 - Sale 2618

Sale 2618 - Lot 52

Price Realized: $ 45,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 30,000 - $ 45,000
ANSEL ADAMS (1902-1984)
Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico. Silver print, the image measuring 12x15 7/8 inches (30.5x40.3 cm.), with Adams' signature, title, and notation "For Reproduction Only (For Parade Magazine)" in ink and an editorial publication stamp on verso. 1941; printed 1960s

Provenance: The Collection of Sey & Natalie Chassler; by descent to the Present Owners

Sey Chassler (1919-1997) was the editor-in-chief at Redbook magazine. He was also an editor at Parade (where he continued to contribute columns and consulting until his death) and This Week magazine, as well as a photo editor at Colliers and Coronet early in his career. Chassler was an avid photographer, and began his career as a photo editor.

Chassler is remembered as an editor who expanded the notion of what women's magazines could do, most notably including promoting equal rights. He led an effort that simultaneously published articles in 36 women's magazines about the proposed equal rights amendment in 1976, and again in 1979. During his tenure with Redbook he increased the circulation from two to nearly five million, making it one of the biggest in the country and earning numerous awards. He was also a founding member of the Child Care Action Campaign and a member of the advisory boards of the National Women's Political Caucus, the Institute for Women and Work at Cornell University, and the board of Abortion Rights Mobilization.

The commentary Ansel Adams wrote on this image in his book The Negative describes not only the technical challenges of taking such a photograph but also explains the genius behind it: "I came across this extraordinary scene when returning to Santa Fe from an excursion to the Chama Valley. The sun was edging a fast-moving bank of clouds in the west. I set up the 8 x 10 camera as fast as I could while visualizing the image. I had to exchange the front and back elements of my Cooke lens, attaching the 23-inch element in front, with a glass G filter (#15) behind the shutter. I focused and composed the image rapidly at full aperture, but I knew that because of the focus-shift of the single lens component, I had to advance the focus about 3/32 inch when I used f/32. These mechanical processes and the visualization were intuitively accomplished. Then, to my dismay, I could not find my exposure meter! I remembered that the luminance of the moon at that position was about 250 c/ft2; placing this luminance on Zone VII, I could calculate that 60 c/ ft2 would fall on Zone V. With a film of ASA 64, the exposure would be 1/60 second at f/8. Allowing a 3x exposure factor for the filter, the basic exposure was 1/20 second at f/8, or about one second at f/32, the exposure was given. I had no idea what the foreground values were, but knowing they were quite low, I indicated water-bath development. The distant clouds were at least twice as luminous as the moon itself. The foreground density of the developed negative was about a Value II, and was locally strengthened by intensification in the Kodak IN-5 formula (quite permanent and colorless - see page 235). It was of utmost importance to preserve texture in the moon itself. We all have seen the blank white circle that represents the moon in many photographs, primarily caused by gross overexposure."

Ansel Adams, The Negative, The Ansel Adams Photography Series 2 (Little, Brown and Company, 1976), p. 126
Ansel Adams, Photographs of the Southwest (Little, Brown and Company, 1976), pl. 55
Ansel Adams, Letter and Images 1916 - 1984 (Little, Brown and Company, 1984), p. 142
Ansel Adams, An Autobiography (Little, Brown and Company, 1985), p. 274