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51

Ansel Adams

Donner Summit, Freight Train

Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams

Donner Summit, Freight Train

Donner Summit, Freight Train

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Ansel Adams

1902 - 1984

Donner Summit, Freight Train


mural-sized sepia-toned gelatin silver print, mounted to Homasote board, framed, a Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, label on the reverse, circa 1950, printed circa 1955

image: 81⅝ by 107 in. (207.9 by 271.8 cm.)

frame: 83⅝ by 109 in. (212.4 by 276.9 cm.)

Please note the colors and shades in the online catalogue illustration may vary depending on screen settings.


Although it has not been examined out of its frame, this mural-sized photograph appears to be in generally excellent condition. As is typical of these majestic works, the image was printed in 2 horizontal sections and mounted together to make the overall composition. Upon close inspection, a seam can be seen running the width of the print and along this seam are several small perforations where the two sections have been joined. These areas are expertly obscured with deposits of retouching. There are scattered scratches, abrasions, and original and later retouching; none of which detract from the overall fine appearance of this photograph. The image is discolored in a thin band around the edges, presumably where it was covered by a previous frame.


This mural has been conserved and a treatment report is available upon request.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Richard Lorenz, Oakland

Bonhams New York, 28 October 2008, Sale 16121, Lot 24, Andrew Smith Gallery, Santa Fe, as agent

Adams' 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 U. S. 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 mural-sized print was one of a series executed in the early 1950s. 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.