View Full Version : Ansel Adams portfolio

Dan Henderson
08-06-2007, 09:55 PM
I happened to channel scan across a PBS show called "Antiques Roadshow" tonight. No sooner did I stop for a quick look when they cut to a man standing beside 3 obviously Adams images. Turns out he purchased all 16 images in Portfolio 3 in the 1960's for $100. I was in shock through the whole segment, but I think the appraiser valued the set at $15,000.

08-06-2007, 10:25 PM
I lived in California while he was still alive and selling 8x10s for little money at his place in Yosemite. I still kick myself sometimes for not scraping up enough to buy a few.
- thanks for reminding me:( ;)

08-06-2007, 11:45 PM
I saw an episode of the antiques road show and one person had a single 8x10 print done by the master himself in the 50's. (I think it was clearing Winter Storm) The print was obviously an enlargement as it was over 8x10 in size. The reviewer rated the print lower as it was not an enlargement and it was printed for lithography purposes. It even had instructions in AA's hand writing on the back of the mount board. She said the owner should insure the print for $900 bucks. If I could have called the guy right then and there I would have offered a $1000.

Some reviewers know not of what they talk of.

08-06-2007, 11:45 PM
I saw that one too. Actually the appraiser said "between $30,000.00 to $50,000.00" but even that seems like a stingy estimate to me. Sixteen prints including some of his best known - mounted and signed by him!
It is hard to believe he could survive selling sixteen prints like that for $100.00 even in the '60's.

08-07-2007, 12:12 AM
Fire Photo - I saw that exact AR too! Imagine how jealous I was!

There was a bit of a thing way back when, and I think it was just with the british one, where the appraisers were appraising for far less, and then purchasing from the owner and turning around and selling for an outrageous profit.

Sometimes I wonder if that still goes on... doesn't stop me from watching the show though!

Edited to add: seems as though this still goes on from time to time. Here's a link from 2000 (http://www.current.org/prog/prog007ars.html).

08-07-2007, 01:41 AM
The AA prints for sale at the Andrew Smith Gallery in Santa Fe start at the mid $1000's and go up. A large 'Moonrise' can be had for around $80,000. It sounds like they left off a zero for the Portfolio.