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Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)


Also known as:  Ansel Easton Adams

Birth Place: San Francisco (San Francisco county, California, United States)


How much are original Ansel Adams photographs worth?

Ansel Adams photographs can be worth a lot of money for original prints or portfolios. For major photographs, the auction price has occasionally exceeded $600,000, while other original prints can often be had for a few thousand dollars. Even minor work is often several hundred dollars. The most ever paid for an Ansel Adams photograph is $722,500 for the gelatin silver print, Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite Valley, California (1944) in 2010. His work is still in high demand and is popular with both serious and casual collectors.

Who was Ansel Adams?

Ansel Adams was an American photographer whose work in the American west helped to shape current views on environmental protection and the natural beauty of our national park system. One of his most famous images (that gained Adams financial stability) was his image entitled “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico,” which was taken of the moon rising above a village only weeks before the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Thousands of unique prints were consequently produced. His photographs have been shown all over the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art which held a retrospective of his work in 1974. Adams passed away on April 22, 1984. His iconic images and mastery of technique greatly impacted the art form and helped shape the role of photography in the art world.

How did Ansel Adams get started?

Ansel Easton Adams was born in San Francisco, California, in 1902. He taught himself to play the piano when he was a young child, which later proved to be deeply influential in the disciplined nature of his artistry. As a photographer known for his landscapes, he began experimenting with photography when he first visited Yosemite National Park in 1916, where he used the camera his parents had given him, the Kodak No. 1 Box Brownie. His trips to Yosemite continued every year until his death. His early photographs were developed and sold at Best’s Studio in Yosemite Valley, and it was the owner’s daughter Virginia Best with whom Adams fell in love and married in 1928. Later, Virginia inherited the studio and the business is known today as the Ansel Adams Gallery

What was Ansel Adams famous for?

Ansel Adams was known for his photographs of nature, specifically the American West. His work became well-recognized with his first portfolio, Parmelian Prints of the High Sierras (1927), which included one of his most well-known images “Monolith, the Face of Half Dome” Adams expanded his repertoire during the 1920s and 1930s, exploring the pictorial style and perfecting his technique, and he began producing what is known as “straight photography.” Commercial projects continued to occupy most of his time during these years, but he developed a passion for promoting photography as fine art, mastering the processes, and exploring the possibilities of the medium, defining the theoretical and scientific practices.

What kind of art did Ansel Adams make?

Ansel Adams was a nature photographer best known for his black and white prints of the American West. Relatedly, he published several essays and instructional books on photography. In addition to promoting photography as a fine art, Adams became an environmental activist for protecting the wilderness, and his images became symbols of wild America. He, along with other photographers like Dorothea Lange and Walker Evans, sought to use art as a way to affect social and political change.

Buy Ansel Adams photographs for sale

Bid or buy Ansel Adams photographs for sale below. At Heritage Auctions, you can bid online about a month prior to the auction date, and during live auctions you can bid online, in person or over the phone. You can even make an offer to the owner who previously purchased Ansel Adams photographs. Watch for new photographs from Ansel Adams by saving a want list so you’ll be notified of any new works for sale.

Why buy original Ansel Adams photographs from Heritage Auctions?

Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easy to help expand your art collection.

How to look up Ansel Adams original photograph values?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. At Heritage Auctions our final selling prices remain visible for all to see, including any buyer’s premiums paid. View Ansel Adams past sale prices below.

Where to get an appraisal for Ansel Adams?

The first step in any art valuation is authentication. If you are unsure of the authenticity of the artwork, then Heritage Auctions art experts can help. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.

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