The (Ansel) Adams Family

Excellent dustup over the purported trove of 65 alleged Ansel Adams 1930s glass negatives of Yosemite Park supposedly bought by a Fresno, CA painter for $45 ten years ago.

Associated Press headline:

Adams heirs skeptical about lost negatives claim


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – It’s an antique collector’s dream: buying an old box at a garage sale and discovering it contains famous lost worksworth a fortune.

That’s what Rick Norsigian said happened to him. Ten years ago, the Fresno painter stumbled upon a trove of 65 old glass negatives that he says have been authenticated as the work of famed nature photographer Ansel Adams, possibly worth $200 million.

Sez him.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

[A]n heir who remains involved in curating Mr. Adams’s work said he was doubtful. And Bill Turnage, the managing trustee of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, said he didn’t believe the photographs were the work of Mr. Adams.

“We don’t think they look like Ansel’s work,” he said. “Do you have any idea how many people were photographing Yosemite in the 1920s and 1930s? Millions! It could be anyone.”

Sez him.

This art-ificial rumpus comes hard on the heels of an absolutely fascinating (quoth the Missus) piece in the New Yorker about Peter Paul Biro, the celebrated art authenticator who purportedly employs fingerprint forensics to establish provenance.

(See Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollack? for further details.)

Further details about the maybe yes-maybe no Adams negatives eagerly awaited.

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