- Ansel Adams
- TENAYA LAKE, MOUNT CONNESS, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
- Gelatin silver print
oversized, mounted, signed in ink on the mount, framed, 1946, printed no later than 1958; accompanied by the original typed invoice and correspondence on the photographer's '131 24th Avenue, San Francisco 21' letterhead (400 Photographs, p. 309) (3)
Acquired from the photographer, 1958
By descent to the present owners
This commanding, early oversized print, on smooth paper with a surface sheen, is in generally excellent condition. Very close examination of the photograph reveals several small linear surface scratches, which, while appearing to break the emulsion, are not distracting or discernible when viewing the print under normal conditions. Also visible upon close examination are tiny deposits of expertly applied original retouching. There is minimal edge wear, with associated tiny chipping, primarily along the lower left and right edges.
The mount is appropriately aged and minimally soiled. Framer's notations in pencil on the reverse of the mount include: '90816 30x35 195A.'
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
This early oversized print comes originally from the collection of acclaimed goldsmith John Paul Miller (1918-2013), a recipient of the American Craft Council’s Gold Medal. In a July 2007 interview with the Cleveland Institute of Art, Miller remembered, ‘[we] went out West in about 1948, I think, and we camped at Tenaya Lake, which is in Yosemite, at the top. Ansel Adams photographed Tenaya Lake from our campsite. I saw it in a book. So I called him and said I'd like to buy a fairly large print of that picture of Tenaya Lake.’ Miller subsequently attended a Sierra Club-sponsored photography seminar with Adams in the early 1960s.
This photograph shows the pristine Tenaya Lake before the National Park Service’s controversial 1958 expansion of Tioga Road, which required dynamite blasting along the shores to create a more direct and easily driven route. Adams was outraged by the project, and in his December 1958 letter accompanying this photograph, Adams wrote, ‘The pass-word around here is REMEMBER TENAYA! We just can’t allow anything like that to happen again in the National Park System.’