Thursday, October 11, 2012

Major Gift of Ansel Adams Photographs: The Museum Set

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico shows a nighttime moon over a cloud-fringed mountain range with a graveyard in the foreground. (Ansel Adams, Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust / September 17, 2007)

The College of New Rochelle in New York State has received a gift of a complete Museum Set of photographs by renowned American photographer Ansel Adams with an appraised value of $2.5 million.

The Museum Set -- which includes 75 signed photographs -- is one of approximately ten complete Museum Sets of Adams' photographs believed to be in existence.

Two sets are held by the photographer's children. Another set was recently acquired by the J. Paul Getty Museum.

In 1979, near the end of his seven decade career, Adams began to produce what he called “The Museum Set,” a project initiated with the help of Maggi Weston of Weston Gallery in Carmel, California. From over 2,500 of his negatives, Adams selected 75 images, which included photographs from as early as 1923 to as late as 1968. Collectors could purchase a “complete” set of 75 prints, or they could select their own set of 25 that Adams himself would print for purchase. Each set was called the “Ansel Adams Museum Set” and was purchased on the condition that the buyer would eventually donate their set to a museum.

The Museum Set donated to the college is a compilation of Adams' life work with photographs of landscapes, including his classic “Moonrise,” as well as photographs of famous American artist Georgia O’Keeffe and photographer Alfred Stieglitz.

The college will unveil 15 framed and signed photographs from the Museum Set at its Annual Gala on October 11.

The gift was made by Caryl Horwitz, a former faculty member at The College of New Rochelle, who donated the collection in memory of Sister Dorothy Ann Kelly, former president of the College who died in 2009. Mrs. Horwitz served as Director of the Graduate Art Department of The College of New Rochelle for many years until retiring in 1986. Her late husband, a successful business executive and avid art collector, acquired the Museum Set in the early 1980s.


White Branches, Mono Lake, California, 1950

Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite National Park, 1944

Still Life, San Francisco, 1932

Aspens, Northern New Mexico, 1958

Boards and Thistles, San Francisco, 1932

On The Heights, Yosemite National Park, 1927

Fresh Snow, 1947

Mount Williamson, The Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, 1945

Georgia O’Keeffe and Orville Cox at the Canyon de Chelly National Monument (1937),

“Golden Gate” in San Francisco Bay taken in 1932