13
13
Ansel Adams
SIESTA LAKE, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA
Estimate
70,000100,000
LOT SOLD. 87,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
13
Ansel Adams
SIESTA LAKE, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA
Estimate
70,000100,000
LOT SOLD. 87,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Photographs

|
New York

Ansel Adams
1902-1984
SIESTA LAKE, YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA
mural-sized, flush-mounted to Homasote board, framed, 1958, printed before 1968 
32 1/4  by 39 3/4  in. (81.9 by 101 cm.)
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Provenance

Acquired from the photographer, late 1960s

Sotheby's New York, 26 April 2001, Sale 7633, Lot 90

Literature

John Szarkowski, The Portfolios of Ansel Adams (Boston, 1977), p. 72

Ansel Adams: Yosemite and the Range of Light (Boston, 1979), pl. 78

James Alinder and John Szarkowski, Ansel Adams: Classic Images (Boston, 1985), pl. 56

Andrea G. Stillman, ed., Yosemite: Ansel Adams (Boston, 1995), pl. 80

Andrea G. Stillman, Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs (Boston, 2007), p. 351

Catalogue Note

Ansel Adams’s introduction to Yosemite Valley came in 1916, the year he was given his first camera.  He was immediately inspired by the vast bodies of water, towering trees, and magnificent cliffs, and he returned with his camera year after year.  Adams acknowledged that photographs could not fully express Yosemite’s splendor.  Reflecting later on his first visit to the Valley, Adams wrote, ‘the absolutely pure air and clean drawn wind and the glowing sunrise on these warm-toned peaks, and the sound of the river and the waterfall – the thing created an impact which was quite overpowering.  I’ve never been able to put that particular experience in a photograph because it was so complex’ (Yosemite and the High Sierra, p. 125).

Adams’s first foray into making mural-sized prints was in 1935 when the Yosemite Park & Curry Company asked him to undertake a series of murals of Yosemite for the San Diego Exposition of that year.  Fascinated by the technical challenges of making these large scale prints, Adams posited, ‘Apart from optical and technical considerations, the size of the photograph has an expressive relationship with the subject – no matter under what conditions of display it is seen.  The subject itself is not an important factor in the determination of the best size of print . . . It is, rather the textural and compositional aspects of the photograph that determine the scale of the finished print’ (‘Photo-Murals,’ U. S. Camera, Vol. 12, 1940, pp. 52-3).  Adams became an accomplished photo-muralist in the ensuing years, making mural and large-format photo-screens for a variety of clients, well into the 1960s.

Mural-sized prints of Siesta Lake are rare.  When this photograph was acquired from the photographer in the 1960s, Adams stated that he had made only three prints of this image in this size.  Only one other mural-sized print of this image is believed to have been offered at auction: a print from the Polaroid Collection sold in these rooms in June 2010.

Photographs

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New York