Lot 10
  • 10

Ansel Adams

40,000 - 60,000 USD
118,750 USD
bidding is closed


  • Ansel Adams
  • Yosemite Valley from Inspiration Point, Winter, Yosemite National Park
  • gelatin silver print
  • 72 by 96 in. (182.9 by 243.8 cm.)
mural-sized, sepia toned, mounted to Homasote board, framed, circa 1940, probably printed in the 1950s


Sotheby's New York, 6 October 1999, Sale 7348, Lot 154


Ansel Adams and Nancy Newhall, The Pageant of History in Northern California (San Francisco, 1954), pl. 56 (variant)

Catalogue Note

During the 1930s and early 1940s, Adams made many photographs from Inspiration Point, culminating in his 1944 Clearing Winter Storm (see Lot 14). Several variants of this image exist. One was reproduced in Adams’s book Yosemite Valley in 1959, and another was used on a Hills Brothers coffee can in 1970.

Adams's first foray into making mural-sized photographs came in 1935, when he was asked by his employer at the time, the Yosemite Park & Curry Company, to undertake a series of murals of Yosemite for the San Diego Exposition of that year. He became an articulate spokesman for the form, writing articles such as 'Photo-Murals' for US Camera in November 1940, and including discussions of mural theory and practice in books such as his own The Print: Contact Printing and Enlarging of 1968. 'I was fascinated with the challenge of making a photographic print in grand scale,' Adams wrote in his autobiography. 'Many of my large-format Yosemite negatives took on a new resonance in mural-sized proportions' (Ansel Adams: An Autobiography, p. 187).

The present mammoth, mural-sized print was one of a series executed in the mid-1950s for the American Trust Company (later taken over by Wells Fargo Bank), for their offices on Montgomery Street between Washington and Clay Streets in San Francisco. These murals were printed in sections, by the Moulin Studios or General Graphics in San Francisco. The sections were so large that they were developed in mammoth trays, then mounted with wheat paste to Homasote board.