What the heck is a "C-print?" I've read the term as used for chromogenic color prints - conventional RA4 and, prior to that, EP2 or previous process, as opposed to Ciba/Ilfochrome, dye transfer etc. I can tell you mean something else, but I don't know what.
I saw a small exhibit of Ansel Adams prints once back in the 90s and was blown away. Of course I'd been making my own black and white prints since the late 70s and had seen only a few Adams photos in books and those not large so I both had an idea what a black and white silver print looks like and the possible advantage of never having seen Adams images anywhere near so large. No disappointment there for me. I also saw an exhibit of Ralph Gibson at the High here in Atlanta and, while not "blown away" as with Adams I was struck by the strong graphic quality he managed. I also saw Cartier-Bresson, but of course he didn't make his own prints. The quality of printing over his career varied enormously and his impact is most often in what one might call the "gross image" not the minute detail, subtle shadows, grain or lack of etc.