A Grand Vision: The David H. Arrington Collection of Ansel Adams Photographs

A Grand Vision: The David H. Arrington Collection of Ansel Adams Photographs

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 51. Donner Summit, Freight Train.

Ansel Adams

Donner Summit, Freight Train

Auction Closed

February 17, 07:14 PM GMT


40,000 - 60,000 USD

Lot Details


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.)

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.