By descent to a private collection
Bonhams New York, 28 April 2015, Lot 6
Ansel Adams (Morgan & Morgan, 1972), pl. 77
Ansel Adams: Yosemite and the Range of Light (Boston, 1979), pl. 99
James Alinder and John Szarkowski, Ansel Adams: Classic Images (Boston, 1985), pl. 38
John Szarkowski, Ansel Adams at 100 (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2001), pl. 85
Ansel Adams, Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs (Boston, 2002), p. 162
Andrea G. Stillman, Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs (Boston, 2007), p. 245
Describing how Adams’s passion for nature preservation influenced his photographs, Stegner wrote, ‘The man who made unforgettable images out of grandeur and mystery of nature did so because he could not help doing so, because he loved what he saw. The man who spent his energy defending nature against the careless and greedy also worked from love. His environmentalism was not a side issue, something done with the left hand in spare time. It sprang from the same source as his art, and involved him wholly’ (Letters and Images, p. ix).
The present photograph has an impressive open tonality throughout, not typically associated with prints made in this era. The 'L P' (for Lone Pine) is clearly visible in the dark hills at the left of the print. These initials, which were actually cut into the mountainside, were often heavily retouched by Adams and, in 1976, removed from the negative altogether.
Of this ‘splendid snapshot,’ Stegner said, ‘I have that print on my wall in an enlargement of about two by three feet, a size that better suggests the grand scale. I have looked at it, studied it, innumerable time, and every time I do so it lifts me. It is like hearing the choral movement of Beethoven’s Ninth. Once again, darkness has been overtaken by light, as if an earth promise were being kept’ (Arizona Highways, January 1984).
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