Ranchos de Taos Church
What is guaranteed?
Property Sold To Benefit The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation Of New Mexico
1902 - 1984
Ranchos de Taos Church
signed Ansel Adams (on the mount); signed Ansel Adams, titled Ranchos de Taos Church, and dated 1942 (on the reverse)
gelatin silver print, mounted
7 ½ by 9 3/8 in.
19 by 24.1 cm.
Executed in 1942 and probably printed in the early 1940s.
Please note the colors and shades in the online catalogue illustration may vary depending on screen settings.
This early gelatin silver print, with a surface sheen and mounted to stiff card, is in generally excellent condition. As is typical of Adams’ early prints from this period, it is signed by the photographer in pencil on the mount, as well as signed, titled, and dated in ink on the reverse. A few scattered tiny deposits of the photographer’s original retouching are visible when examining the photograph closely. Also visible upon under raking light are the following: a faint diagonal 5-inch linear impression in the center and a tiny impression in the lower left, neither of which breaks the emulsion. There is some slight edge chipping along the lower left edge, and the tip of the lower left corner is lifting very slightly.
The mount is gently ripped at the upper and lower edges and is age-darkened, particularly along the right edge. There are circular paper adhesions at each corner, likely from a previous overmat.
The reverse of the mount is faintly soiled.
When examined under ultraviolet light, this print does not appear to fluoresce.
There is a Museum of Fine Arts New Mexico label on the reverse of the mat.
Framed under Plexi: 16 ¼ by 20 ¼ in. (41.3 by 51.4 cm.)
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.
Helene Wurlitzer, Taos (acquired directly from the artist)
Acquired by bequest from the above circa 1963 by the present owner
The photographs in Lots 1029, 1032, 1033, 1035, 1037, 1053, 1055, 1057, 1059, and 1061 come from the collection of The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico. They perfectly encapsulate Ansel Adams’ relationship with the Southwest – from the images made in the late 1920s during his first visits to Taos Pueblo and his work done in the 1940s for the United States Department of the Interior (see lots 1032, 1035, 1053), to his iconic view of Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico (see lot 1029). Each photograph is a prime example of Adams’ painstaking process in the darkroom and the care with which he undertook mounting and signing his finished fine prints.
When Adams visited New Mexico for the first time in 1927, he could not have foreseen the profound impact the region would have on his career. During one of his early visits to Taos, he wrote to his future wife Virginia: “This is the most completely beautiful place I have ever seen. A marvelous snowy range of mountains rises from a spacious emerald plain and this little old world village nestles close to the hills. Adobe – bells – color beyond imagination – and today, the heavens are filled with clouds.”
Over the ensuing four decades, Adams returned to New Mexico regularly for extended lengths of time. Every trip brought with it a newfound appreciation for its landscape, culture, and architecture, made more evident in each subsequent body of work. As William Turnage, the longtime Managing Trustee of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, rightfully noted, “It would be difficult to imagine that many Americans, between 1927 and 1961, drove more miles on the bad and back roads of the Southwest than Ansel Adams – and doubtful that any American expressed a visual resonance with the region as deeply convincing.”