05-19-2017 05-20-2017
Skinner Auctions
Skinner Auctions Boston MA
3010B Boston
May 19, 2017 12:00 PMCalender

Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984) Leaves and Raindrops, Glacier Bay National Monument

Auction: American & European Works of Art - 3010B Location: Boston Date / Time: May 19, 2017 12:00PM


Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)

Leaves and Raindrops, Glacier Bay National Monument, c. 1948. Unsigned. Mural-sized gelatin silver print mounted on 3/4 inch plywood, image/sheet size 46 x 38 1/8 in., unframed.
Condition: Subtle varnish discoloration and crazing, 1 1/2 inch tear u.c., upper edge of sheet lifting from mount.

Provenance: Gift of the artist to Martha Stiles on the occasion of her marriage to Paul Lawrence, noted Harvard Business School professor and longtime resident of Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1948; by bequest to the Cambridge Community Foundation, 2015.

N.B. While best-known for his majestic views of the American West, Ansel Adams was also drawn to details of the natural world. His interest in printing mural-size photographs began in the mid-1930s. They were typically 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 sought out subjects like this detail of leaves and grass with raindrops that emphasized "design, pattern, and sheer beauty of tonal relationships." [1]

1. Ansel Adams, "Photo-Murals," U.S. Camera I, no. 12 (November 1940): 53. This print is from negative number 4-C-535 in the Ansel Adams Archive, Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, Arizona.
Estimate $15,000-25,000

Subtle scuff marks, minor scattered losses (2 mm at most) u.r., c.r., and c.l. The work was previously framed so the varnish discoloration does not extend to the sheet edges.

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.


Paul Lawrence, Martha Stiles, Cambridge, Tucson, United States