Auctioneers and Appraisers

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984) Waterwheel Falls, Yosemite National Park, California

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American & European Works of Art - 2930B
Date / Time :
September 23, 2016 12:00PM


Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)

Waterwheel Falls, Yosemite National Park, California, c. 1940, printed later. Unsigned, inscribed "1 gd print Toullumne [sic]Cascade" in ink on the verso l.r. Gelatin silver print on double-weight paper, image size 32 x 32 5/8 in. (81.3 x 82.9 cm), unmatted, unframed.
Condition: Scattered handling creases and wear primarily at the edges, 4-inch vertical tear into image u.c., 13-inch horizontal crease in image u.c., cellophane tape remnants primarily on the verso, abrasions/minor losses to image surface l.l. and along top edge of image, graphite cropping lines at various points along image edges, several of which have broken through the emulsion.

Provenance: From the collection of a former Polaroid Corporation employee (1966-1989).

N.B. Adams's interest in printing mural-size photographs began in the mid-1930s. Typically they were affixed to plywood or Masonite panels and coated with a thin layer of varnish. Adams preferred a smooth, matte double-weight paper with neutral tone, and looked for subjects that emphasized "design, pattern, and sheer beauty of tonal relationships."1 While Adams likely oversaw the printing process, the reason for the creation of this work is unclear.

1. Ansel Adams, "Photo-Murals," U.S. Camera I, no. 12 (November 1940): 53.
Estimate $3,000-5,000

Sheet measures 35 x 41.5 in. (89.0 x 105.5 cm). The paper does not fluoresce. The print has been stored rolled so the paper is curling. Tape remnants: 2 on the verso along top edge, 1 on the recto in the margin l.l., one on the verso u.l., sheet verso is discolored with water damage or similar visible at upper half.

The absence of a condition statement does not imply that the lot is in perfect condition or completely free from wear and tear, imperfections or the effects of aging. Condition requests can be obtained via email (lot inquiry button) or by telephone to the appropriate gallery location (Boston/617.350.5400 or Marlborough/508.970.3000). Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner Inc. shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Polaroid Corporation, United States, Ansel, Ansel Adams, California, Hypochondriacs, Photography, Recto and verso, Sierra Club, Sierra Nevada, Visual arts, Yosemite National Park