Collectors’ Eye: A Grand Vision | Building a Collection of Ansel Adams Masterworks

10 December 2020 • 12:00 PM EST • New York
Join us for a live discussion on pioneering photographer Ansel Adams and one collector’s journey to acquire masterworks spanning the artist’s seven decade career. A proud Texan, and self-proclaimed “photographer stuck in an oil man’s body,” David Arrington began taking pictures as a teenager. His passion for the craft led him to collect more than 600 photographs by Adams, including the artist’s most celebrated and iconic images. Arrington will be joined by Andrea Stillman, scholar and former assistant to Adams, and Sotheby’s Photographs specialists Emily Bierman and Aimee Pflieger for an engaging conversation filled with personal stories and anecdotes.

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David H. Arrington

David H. Arrington developed a deep interest in photography as a teenager when he began taking pictures and studying the work of Ansel Adams to improve his technique and skills. In his late twenties, Arrington started collecting Adams’ work, a pursuit which over the decades gave rise to one of the largest and most important privately held collections of work by the photographer. Highlights from the collection have been exhibited widely, including in Ansel Adams: Classic Images (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Ansel Adams at 100 (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, traveling thereafter to The Art Institute of Chicago, the Hayward Gallery, Berlin’s Kunstbibliothek, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and The Museum of Modern Art), Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams, Natural Affinities (The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum), Photography From the Mountains to the Sea (The Royal Museums Greenwich), and Ansel Adams: Eloquent Light, at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art. Born and raised in the Dallas community of Oak Cliff, he currently serves as President of Arrington Oil & Gas Operating LLC in Midland, TX.

Andrea G. Stillman

Andrea G. Stillman worked closely with Ansel Adams as his executive assistant for seven years in the 1970s. Subsequent to Adams’ death in 1984, Stillman has edited and authored numerous books on the photographer, including Ansel Adams: Letters And Images 1916-1984; Ansel Adams: Our National Parks; Yosemite: Ansel Adams; Ansel Adams California; Ansel Adams in Color; Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs; and Looking at Ansel Adams: The Photographs and the Man. Although she has worked at both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Morgan Library in New York, her true calling has always been Ansel Adams and his photographs.

Emily Bierman

Vice President | Head of Department
Sotheby's Photographs

Emily Bierman joined Sotheby’s Photographs department in 2007. Ms. Bierman has been directly involved with the department’s numerous important single-owner collections, including The Quillan Collection of Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Photographs; Photographs from the Polaroid Collection; A Show of Hands: Photographs from the Collection of Henry Buhl; The Modern Image; The Inventive Eye: Photographs from a Private Collection; Robert Frank: The Americans, The Ruth and Jake Bloom Collection; 175 Masterworks to Celebrate 175 Years of Photography: Photographs from Joy of Giving Something Foundation; A Beautiful Life: Photographs from the Collection of Leland Hirsch; and Photographs from the Ginny Williams Collection. Ms. Bierman has marketed some of the great masterworks of the medium, including the 1843 daguerreotype of John Quincy Adams, the earliest known photograph of an American President, now in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery. As Head of Department, she leads consignments for both new and established clients, with a particular focus on helping develop collections. In addition to negotiating sales, her broad range of activity within the department includes supervising all research and writing, and overseeing all aspects of private sale, fair market value, charitable donation, and insurance appraisal.

Aimee Pflieger

Assistant Vice President | Specialist, Head of Sale
Sotheby’s Photographs

Aimee Pflieger joined Sotheby’s Photographs department in 2015, bringing with her a wealth of knowledge and experience in Modern and Contemporary Photographs after more than 20 years in the art market. As a Specialist, Ms. Pflieger is closely involved in providing auction estimates, cataloguing, research, and preparing fair market value, charitable donation, and insurance appraisals. Since joining the department, Ms. Pflieger has been directly involved with important auctions such as Robert Frank: The Americans, The Ruth and Jake Bloom Collection; From Generation to Generation: Important Photographs from the Ames Collection; Creating a Stage The Collection of Marsha and Robin Williams; A Beautiful Life: Photographs from the Collection of Leland Hirsch; and Photographs from the Ginny Williams Collection. Ms. Pflieger has held senior positions at a number of galleries and auction houses in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York, working not only with photographs but also with paintings, sculpture, and prints, providing her with a far-reaching and holistic familiarity of 19th and 20th century art. She began her career at the Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University, where she was responsible for the inventory of the Art Sinsabaugh and Henry Holmes Smith photographic archives. She has curated exhibitions of photographs from Chicago’s Institute of Design, early works by Ray K. Metzker, and photograms by Theodore Roszak. Over the past decade, Ms. Pflieger has lectured on the Contemporary Photography market and has appeared for several seasons as an expert appraiser of photography on the WBGH series Antiques Roadshow.

Discover Featured Photographs from the Auction

Learn More About David Arrington’s Collection of Ansel Adams

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