NEW YORK – On October 4, Bonhams will offer two rare Ansel Adams photographs in the New York various-owner Photographs sale. Absentee and Internet live bidding will be available through LiveAuctioneers.
These two gelatin silver prints, Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California, estimated at $30,000-$50,000 and Autumn, Great Smokey Mountains National Park, Tennessee, estimated at $15,000-$25,000, were gifted directly from the famed American photographer to Peter Wensberg, a well-known and respected figure within the photography industry.
Wensberg served as Senior Vice-President of Marketing at the Polaroid Corporation from 1971-1982, seminal years in the company’s history. He recruited notable figures to star in the company’s television commercials, including Shakespearean actor Laurence Olivier. This initiative contributed to the most successful decade in Polaroid’s history – sales significantly suffered in the years following his departure, coinciding with the rise in popularity of the digital camera.
Five years after leaving Polaroid, Wensberg authored Land’s Polaroid: A Company and the Man Who Invented It. Through the industry, Wensberg met Ansel Adams and developed a close personal friendship with him. Together, the two established the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona in the 1980s, which still stands as an archive for Adams’ work. Both photographs on offer in this sale were given from Adams to Wensberg in 1983 and have remained in the Wensberg family collection since.
According to Bonhams New York Head of Photographs, Laura Paterson, “The two wonderful photographs by Ansel Adams that come to us from the Wensberg collection carry with them a provenance that is simply unmatched. Peter Wensberg was not only a highly successful Polaroid executive who established a name for himself as a leader in the photography industry in the 70s and 80s, but he was a real champion of Adams and a fervent supporter of his artistry. This sale will present buyers with an incredibly rare opportunity to acquire two stunning Ansel Adams photographs that have not been seen publicly since they left the hands of Adams himself nearly four decades ago.”
Additional highlights include:
Brian Duffy, ‘David Bowie, Aladdin Sane (Eyes Open),’ estimated at $50,000-$70,000.
Man Ray, ‘Hands (Rayograms),’ which carries an estimate of $40,000-$60,000.
Peter Beard, ‘Special Delivery Diary Page, Verushka von Lehndorff for ‘Vogue’, Rhino Roping with ‘Galo-Galo,” estimated at $30,000-$50,000.
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