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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lost Ansel Adams Masterpieces--or No?

Perhaps you've read in the news that a guy named Rick Norsigian from California found a box full of glass-plate negatives that he--and apparently a lot of other folks--believe to be lost Ansel Adams negatives. If they can prove that, the negatives have an estimated value of $200 million. But a lot of folks, including several of Adams' former assistants and members of his family, believe that the photos were not taken by the famed landscape shooter. Rather, the latest theory suggests, they were shot by an unknown (until now) photographer named Earl Brooks. If so, they are probably worth nothing more than spare change. There is even a documentary being made about the find and the search for the real photographer behind the negatives. Whoever shot them, it's a pretty fascinating story and it has drawn a lot of media attention, including this nice story in the Los Angeles Times. Just the thought that a small box of glass negatives could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars is something to ponder!

Photos: Comparison of photos of the Jeffrey pine in Yosemite. On left is a print owned by Marian Walton that she says was taken in 1923 by her uncle, Earl Brooks. Credit: Photographer(s) in dispute/Marian Walton. At right is an image made from a negative that Rick Norsigian found 10 years ago and attributes to Ansel Adams.  Credit: Rick Norsigian Collection

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