Ansel Adams - Photographs New York Friday, April 5, 2024 | Phillips
  • “When Ansel made Moonrise in the late afternoon of October 31, 1941, he immediately knew he possessed an important negative. He could not have guessed, of course, that it would become the best-known image in the art of photography. It was the first of his photographs to take on a life of its own, as masterpieces do. Moonrise is spiritual, redemptory of man and earth. It visualizes the basics of existence, ideas that are rural and in touch with the earth. The print is physically dominated by a black sky in an unusual use of space, but one essential to its spirit. The light of the crosses, critical to the image, disappeared as the sun set seconds after his exposure was made.”
    —James Alinder, Ansel Adams: Classic Images

    • Provenance

      LIGHT Gallery, New York, 1977

    • Literature

      Haas and Senf, Ansel Adams, pl. 37 and p. 146 (for stamp)
      Adams, Ansel Adams: The Making of 40 Photographs, p. 40
      Alinder and Szarkowski, Ansel Adams: Classic Images, pl. 32
      Little, Brown and Company, Ansel Adams: The Grand Canyon and the Southwest, frontispiece
      Stillman, Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs, p. 175
      Szarkowski, Ansel Adams at 100, pl. 96


Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico

Gelatin silver print, printed 1973-1977.
15 1/8 x 19 3/8 in. (38.4 x 49.2 cm)
Signed in pencil on the mount; Carmel credit stamp (BMFA stamp 11) with title and date in an unidentified hand in ink on the reverse of the mount.

Full Cataloguing

$40,000 - 60,000 

Sold for $50,800

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 5 April 2024