This is where we disagree most.......I don't believe this in the slightest. You are calling AA's departure from pictorialism to straight photography motivated by business rather than artistice preferrence. Seems to be the same as saying----------he really liked pictorialism more, but felt he could make more money by shooting "straight", as it were. How could that be when pictorialism was the "thing", it seems anyway, at the time. I don't pretend to be an art historian or anything like that, but I just disagree with the premise, but we could probably go on forever about it without changing any minds.
I don't think it's a crass assessment like that. Group f/64 was formed to promote works like that of Ansel Adams, and it just happened to come at the right time and he was struck like lightning with its success.