The photographer to Roi Partridge
Private Collection, California
Acquired by the present owners from the above, circa 1993
This scarce, early state of Adams's Yosemite Valley is different from later prints of the negative, which are cropped fairly extensively along the bottom and left side. In the summer of 1937, Adams's darkroom caught fire, damaging many of his Yosemite negatives, including the famous Monolith: The Face of Half Dome, which, like Yosemite Valley, was printed thereafter in a cropped format. The negative for Yosemite Valley, now in the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, has black marks along portions of its edges and is masked with black printer's tape on three sides. At the time of this writing, only one other print from the original, uncropped state of the negative has been located: one sold in these rooms on 17 April 2002 (Sale 7777, Lot 17).
The print offered here was owned originally by the printmaker Roi Partridge (1888 - 1984), who was married to the photographer Imogen Cunningham from 1915 to 1934. Partridge began teaching at Mills College in Oakland, California, in 1920, and later became the first director of the school's art gallery, where he organized numerous exhibitions, including photography and other works on paper. A photographer himself, he counted Adams among his friends and colleagues who were exploring the concept of a new photography, an exploration that led ultimately to the formation of Group f/64.
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