Ansel Adams - Photographs New York Wednesday, April 6, 2022 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Harry Lunn, Graphics International, Ltd., Washington, D. C., 1970s

  • Literature

    Adams, Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs, p. 172
    Szarkowski, The Portfolios of Ansel Adams, Portfolio II, pl. 3

  • Catalogue Essay

    This photograph was purchased from the legendary photography dealer Harry Lunn, Jr., who played a formative role in establishing the market for Ansel Adams and in the creation of the market for photography as a fine art. Lunn was a larger-than-life character, a charismatic bon vivant, and a shrewd businessman who initially dealt in works on paper. His first encounter, in 1970, with Adams’s Moonrise, Hernandez New Mexico, affected him deeply, and he determined to give the photographer an exhibition in his Washington, D.C., gallery. Lunn introduced Adams’s work to an ever-growing audience, and introduced the public to the concept of photographic prints as collectible works of art. The relationship between the men was symbiotic: Adams’s perfectionism as photographer and printmaker meshed perfectly with Lunn’s perfectionism as marketer and salesmen.

    Lunn’s careful management of the release of Adams’s prints – what he described as "the creation of rarity" – was masterful, and through this process the value of Adams’s photographs rose to higher levels than previously seen in the young market. Lunn was also instrumental in the early success of younger artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe, Andres Serrano, and Joel-Peter Witkin, among many others, and was instrumental in placing their work, as well as that of the 19th-century masters, into many important public and private collections.


Dunes, White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

Gelatin silver print, printed 1973-1977.
13 5/8 x 10 1/2 in. (34.6 x 26.7 cm)
Signed in pencil on the mount; Carmel credit stamp (BMFA stamp 11), titled and dated in an unidentified hand in ink on the reverse of the mount.

$5,000 - 7,000 

Sold for $6,300

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs
[email protected]

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas
[email protected]


New York Auction 6 April 2022