Posts Tagged ‘Ansel Adams’

Notoable: The Ansel Adams Gallery Announces New Photo Rating and Condition System

In Black and White Photography, Photo Print Collector on September 8, 2017 at 11:00 am

When it comes to classic landscape photography, the list of recommended photographers almost always begins with Ansel Adams. As a member of Group f/64, Adams’ photos of the Pacific Northwest set the standard for striking and ethereal black & white imagery. Consequently, Adams’ photos have made themselves a part of several photography collections throughout the world. Now, the Ansel Adams Gallery has announced its own rating system for grading photographs by the deceased master.

Condition is always difficult to assess and somewhat subjective. Our rating system is an effort to make a meaningful distinction between the found condition of photographs that are, in 2017, between 35 and 85 years old. There are no standards in the industry or bright lines between ratings. Each rating can contain a range of conditions and items, and those ranges get progressively wider as conditions deteriorate. We attempt to be detailed, clear, and consistent in our assessment of the condition of photographs, but cannot guarantee that sharper eyes will not find things we miss. Our condition reports note EVERYTHING we see under a VERY rigorous examination by TRAINED experts, and we are known among our peers to be excessively detailed. These reports, on the face of it, can be disconcerting, even when the condition is rated as “Excellent”. Our rating depends on how visible damage is. Therefore it is possible that a number of items that are barely visible in glaring light can look more severe on a written condition report than would a single issue visible 3 feet away, whereas in person, the viewer might not even note the multiple items. Also, some types of surface damage could only or are most likely to have happened, intentionally or otherwise, in the artist’s studio. A small wrinkle in the emulsion layer, or etching a dark spot in a light sky are two examples. When this occurs we note it, but if it was acceptable to Ansel to release, we do not degrade the condition rating based on that. Our stance is that if it was good enough for him, who are we to negatively judge the condition.

Many issues noted here can be effectively treated with proper and qualified conservation. The cost of such treatments are generally not insignificant, and can take a considerable amount of time due to multiple passes or subsequent steps. Conservation work or evidence thereof is not a negative factor in assessing the condition or value of a print. We evaluate the current condition, not what it may have been or what it may become.

If you’re a serious collector of Adams photography, the gallery’s system is something that will seriously considered down the road. It will help guide through the print condition ratings and the quality of the layers, and also serve to educate on commonly used condition terms.

The ratings system can be found here: Ansel Adams Gallery


Preview: Classic Photographs by Ansel Adams & Celebrating William Garnett at 100, Scott Nichols Gallery, San Francisco, CA

In Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallery, Photo Print Collector, Photographer on January 15, 2017 at 1:31 pm

Aspens, Northern New Mexico, 1958, Ansel Adams

For years, Scott Nichols Gallery has been one of the foremost purveyors of Black and White photography in San Francisco. Drawing on their particular love of the American landscape, the SNG’s Little Gallery is featuring the works of Ansel Adams and William Garnett, the latter of whom is being posthumously celebrated for his 100th birthday; Garnett passed away in 2006.

The pair is an appropriate juxtaposition due to their focus in photography and general love of the environment. Adams has long been celebrated as a pioneer in photographing the American West. Born in 1902 , Adams was one of the founders of Group f/64 with Willard Van Dyke and Edward Weston.

As a long time collector of Group f/64, Scott Nichols Gallery will be pulling together a wide assortment of Adams photographs that are part of its collection.

Garnett, born in 1916 in Chicago, Illinois, made his name initially as an independent graphic designer and commercial photographer. What he’s best known for however is it work on the American landscape, like Adams. But unlike Adams, who focused especially on forestry, Garnett’s work was aerial. Over the years, his works were published in magazines such as Fortune, Life and Reader’s Digest.

The Exhibition will be open to visitors until February 25th, 2017.

For More Information: Scott Nichols Gallery

Preview: Masterworks From Seven Decades 1928-1982, Ansel Adams, Quintenz Gallery, Aspen, Colorado

In Black and White Photography, Exhibits, Gallery, Photo Print Collector, Photographer on July 25, 2015 at 9:42 pm
The Golden Gate Before the Bridge, Ansel Adams,  1932

The Golden Gate Before the Bridge, Ansel Adams, 1932

 Ansel Adams, along with the Group f.64 group, did as much for American photography as anyone. Quintenz Gallery is the latest to pay tribute.

“Wilderness, or wildness, is a mystique. A religion, an intense philosophy, a dream of ideal society—these are also mystiques. As the fisherman depends upon the river, lakes and seas, and the farmer upon the land for his existence, so does mankind … depend upon the beauty of the world about him for his spiritual and emotional existence.” — Ansel Adams, from a speech to The Wilderness Society, May 9, 1980

Aspen, CO – Spanning seven decades of his groundbreaking career, a major retrospective of more than 50 photographs by Ansel Adams will be on view from July 10–September 8, 2015, at the Quintenz Gallery in Aspen, Colorado. Ansel Adams: Masterworks from Seven Decades, 1928–1982 comprises the entirety of one of the most significant, privately held Adams collections. Most of the work has not been exhibited in many years. The exhibition is presented in association with Michael Shapiro Photographs, Westport, CT.

Ansel Adams (American 1902–1984) is widely recognized for his portrayal of the sublime in America’s wilderness. Yosemite National Park captured his imagination during his first visit at age 14. He later wrote, “That first impression of the valley—white water, azaleas, cool firm caverns, tall pines and stolid oaks, cliffs rising to undreamed of heights, the poignant sounds and smells of the Sierra … was a culmination of experience so intense as to be almost painful.”

The exhibition opened on July 10th and will be available for viewing until Sept. 8th.

For More Information: Quintenz Gallery

Notable: Ansel , We Hardly Knew Ye – The Lost Negatives Update

In Article, Black and White Photography, Photo Print Collector, Photographer on March 16, 2011 at 2:52 pm


“The Lost Negatives” of Ansel Adams will remain lost under an out of court settlement just released. As described in the New York Times today:

The parties released a statement late on Monday that called the settlement terms “confidential.” But it said the parties to the suit, filed in California, had agreed that the man, Rick Norsigian, cannot use Adams’s name in selling prints from the negatives. He can continue to sell such items “subject to a disclaimer approved by the Trust.”

“Both parties have agreed not to make any defamatory statements about the other,” the statement said.

No mention was made of what the disclaimer might say or, more important, whether any agreement was reached on how to determine if the glass negatives found at a garage sale by Mr. Norsigian 10 years ago are actually Adams’s work.

To view the negatives and the press release: Lost Negatives

To read the NY Times article: NYT

Read our prior coverage: BWGallerist

Noteworthy: Ansel Adam’s Plates -$200 Million Gone With The Wind?

In Article, Black and White Photography, Gallerist, Photographer on September 7, 2010 at 9:27 am


A handout photo shows Rick Norsigian examining one of the photographs he bought at a garage sale. (EPA / August 24, 2010)

We have been following the Ansel Adams “garage sale” plates story since Rick Norsigian appeared on CNN describing his find.

Since that time supporters and team members have started to have second thoughts. We decided to track down Scott Nichols of the well known San Francisco Scott Nichols Gallery who was mentioned in the New York Times article on the controversy.

Scott’s opinion, and he is careful to say it is his opinion, is that the plates were not created by Adams. Instead, it is a good chance they belong to photographer Earl Brooks. He has examined a small sample of Brook’s images brought to him and compared them to the “Adams” plate images and found them identical.

When asked how this level of mistaken analysis could take place, Scott used an analogy:

Norsigian’s team is actually a set of photography “fans”. When the “real ball players” look at this, we can readily see the weaknesses in this argument for authenticity.

For more on the “inside baseball” story: LA Times

Please note Scott has a well timed Yosemite themed show in November.

For information on his current show: Scott Nichols Gallery