ANSEL ADAMS (1902-1984)
I set up my camera on my car platform at what I felt was the best location, overlooking a pasture. It was very cold -- perhaps near zero -- and I waited, shivering for a shaft of sunlight to flow over the distant trees. A horse grazing in the frosty pasture stood facing away from me with exasperating, stolid persistence. I made several exposures of moments of light and shadow, but the horse was uncooperative, resembling a distant stump. I observed the final shaft of light approaching. At the last moment the horse turned to show its profile, and I made the exposure. Within a minute the entire area was flooded with sunlight and the natural chiaroscuro was gone. THE ESTATE OF MAYNARD MUNGER, JR.
ANSEL ADAMS (1902-1984)

Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California, 1941

ANSEL ADAMS (1902-1984)
Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California, 1941
gelatin silver mural print, flush-mounted on a layered wooden panel, printed 1961
image/sheet/flush-mount: 36½ x 55in. (92.7 x 139.7cm.)
From Ansel Adams;
to Maynard Munger, Jr., 1961;
by bequest to the present owners
Adams, Yosemite and the Range of Light, Little, Brown and Company, 1992, pl. 99; Adams, Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs, Little, Brown and Company, 1983, p. 162; Szarkowski, Ansel Adams at 100, Little, Brown and Company, 2001, pl. 85; Stillman, ed. Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs, Little, Brown and Company, 2007, p. 245; Stillman, Looking at Ansel Adams: The Photographs and the Man, Little, Brown and Company, 2012, p. 128

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Lot Essay

The vast majority of the prints Adams made of Winter Sunrise were printed on 16 x 20 inch paper. But his large-format negatives could support greater enlargements without becoming too grainy. Another mural sized version of the image apparently hung outside Adams' own darkroom, one of the very few such prints in existence.
This is another. A stunning tour de force, it is accompanied by three typically entertaining letters (illustrated) from Ansel Adams to Maynard Munger Jr., who had first met Ansel and Virginia Adams as a young man while delivering produce to them from his father's store. Adams' first letter is dated January 1, 1961, in which he apologizes for the delay in delivering the print. The last, dated September 26, 1973, covers more general matters, including his grumblings about the Sierra Club (Munger was also a member and Director of its East Bay Chapter for a while.) Ansel also remarks charmingly, if somewhat ingenuously, 'I gather the large print is still holding together'.
And it has continued to 'hold together', thanks to the careful stewardship of the Munger family for over five decades.

Please see lot 14 for a smaller, near-vintage version of the image.

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