1. Zabriskie Point, Death Valley, by Edward Weston
Edward Weston (1886-1958), Zabriskie Point, 1938. Gelatin silver contact print, printed probably 1940s. Image/sheet: 8 x 10 in. (20.4 x 25.5 cm.) Estimate: $7,000-9,000. This work is offered in the America, the Beautiful online auction, 8-17 March
Edward Weston is one of the most iconic, master photographers of the 20th Century — someone whose meticulous prints continue to leave me breathless.
This arresting image of Zabriskie Point in Death Valley was taken later in Weston’s career, when he was in his 50s and photographing the Pacific Coast on a Guggenheim Fellowship. Weston was the first photographer to receive a Guggenheim Foundation grant, a remarkable achievement in the 1930s.
Weston was thrilled by Death Valley and saved about 300 negatives from his trips there — the resulting images are some of his finest and most renowned.
2. Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park, by Ansel Adams
Ansel Adams (1902-1984), Vernal Falls, Yosemite National Park, from Lady Franklin Rock, 1938. Gelatin silver print, mounted on card. Image/sheet: 9.1/2 x 7.3/8 in. (24.2 x 18.7 cm.) Mount: 14 x 10.7/8 in. (35.5 x 27.6 cm.) Estimate: $2,000-3,000. This work is offered in the America, the Beautiful online auction, 8-17 March
Ansel Adams needs no introduction as the most iconic American landscape photographer of the 20th Century. His name is synonymous with Yosemite National Park and to this day, no one has captured the essence of this park, or the American landscape, more precisely or beautifully.
This is one of Ansel’s classic views of Vernal Falls and is featured as one of the sixteen images printed for his Portfolio Three, published in 1960, which represented his forty years photographing in Yosemite Valley.
3. Highway 1, California, by Henry E. Gilpin
Henry E. Gilpin (1922-2011), Highway 1, 1963. Gelatin silver print, mounted on board. Image/sheet: 10.1/2 x 13.1/2 in. (26.7 x 34.4 cm.) Mount: 16 x 20 in. (40.6 x 50.8 cm.) Estimate: $1,000-2,000. This work is offered in the America, the Beautiful online auction, 8-17 March
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Henry Gilpin was a California-based landscape photographer who became serious about the medium while attending the Ansel Adams photography workshop in Yosemite in the 1950s. He was deeply inspired by Adams, of course, but also Edward Weston, Paul Strand, and other classic American modernists.
Highway 1 from 1963 is one of his most impressive works, in both composition and tonality, and is perfectly representative of his devotion to the inimitable California coastline.
4. Death Valley, California, by Wynn Bullock
Wynn Bullock (1902-1975), Death Valley, 1940. Gelatin silver print, mounted on card. Image/sheet: 7.1/2 x 9.1/2 in. (19.2 x 24.3 cm.) Mount: 13.1/8 x 15 in. (33.3 x 38.1 cm.) Estimate: $3,000-5,000. This work is offered in the America, the Beautiful online auction, 8-17 March
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Wynn Bullock was as much philosopher and scientist as photographer, though his gorgeous American landscape images are clearly more celebrated than his photography-related patents.
Bullock was initially attracted to the medium as the only art form dependent upon light, which to him was ‘perhaps the most profound truth in the universe.’ Bullock was deeply influenced by Edward Weston, who he met in the 1940s and whose impact is clearly visible in this abstract, dramatic depiction of Death Valley in California.
5. Oceano, California, by Brett Weston
Brett Weston (1911-1993), Dunes, Oceano, 1950s. Gelatin silver print. Image/sheet: 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm.) Estimate: $5,000-7,000.. This work is offered in the America, the Beautiful online auction, 8-17 March
As an artistically inclined son of Edward Weston, it was perhaps inevitable that Brett Weston would become a successful, skilled photographer in his own right. He worked as his father’s apprentice as a teenager and was surrounded by influential artists his entire life.
While not all of Brett’s images are easily compared to his father’s, this particular work reminds us of Edward’s dunes, which can only be considered the highest form of praise.
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