ANSEL ADAMS (1902–1984)
ANSEL ADAMS (1902–1984)
1 More
ANSEL ADAMS (1902–1984)

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941

ANSEL ADAMS (1902–1984)
Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941
gelatin silver print, mounted on board, printed 1973-1977
signed in pencil (mount, recto); titled and dated in ink in photographer's Carmel credit stamp [BMFA Stamp 11], and with Center for Creative Photography & AAPRT stamps (mount, verso)
image/sheet: 15 ½ x 19 ¼ in. (39.3 x 48.9 cm.)
mount: 21 7/8 x 27 7/8 in. (55.5 x 70.7 cm.)
Ansel Adams, Photographs of the Southwest, New York Graphic Society, Boston, 1966, pl. 55.
Robert M. Doty, Photography in America, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1974, pp. 130-131.
James Alinder, Ansel Adams, 1902-1984, The Friends of Photography, Carmel, 1984, p. 55.
Ansel Adams & Mary Street Alinder, Ansel Adams: An Autobiography, Little, Brown and Co., New York, 1985, p. 274.
Andrea G. Stillman, Ansel Adams: Letters and Images 1916-1984, Little, Brown and Co., Boston, 1988, p. 142.
Ansel Adams, Examples: The Making of 40 Photographs, Little, Brown and Co., New York, 1989, cover, p. 40.
John Szarkowski, Ansel Adams: Classic Images, Little, Brown and Co., New York, 1999, pl. 32.
John Szarkowski, Ansel Adams at 100, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art/Little, Brown and Co., Boston, 2001, pl. 96.
Anne Hammond, Ansel Adams, Divine Performance, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2002, p. 94, fig. 4.10.
Karen E. Haas and Rebecca A. Senf, Ansel Adams in the Lane Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 2005, pl. 37, p. 68.
Andrea G. Stillman (ed.), Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs, Little, Brown and Co., Boston, 2007, p. 175.
Andrea G. Stillman (ed.), Looking at Ansel Adams: The Photographs and the Man, Little, Brown and Co., New York, 2012, p. 114.

Brought to you by

Rebecca Jones
Rebecca Jones

Lot Essay

We were sailing southward along the highway not far from Española when I glanced to the left and saw an extraordinary situation—an inevitable photograph. —Ansel Adams

Decades after the image was captured, Ansel Adams vividly recalled the circumstances surrounding this picture. 'Well, this was a tremendous sight to be seen, and I had to beg everybody in the car to help me to get everything out, to get the tripod. And the magnificent white mountains, clear day, church [with] a flat adobe roof, and the moon [that] was up about, oh, 30 degrees, several days before full. And there was a long line of clouds here, the sun was just running low behind them, putting the light on white crosses. I think it was one of the great scientists who said that ‘chance favors the prepared mind,’ and in this case I had to be sufficiently prepared to make this work. I instinctively felt I had quite the extraordinary image, and I think you know it.' It was a remarkable achievement in an otherwise disappointing day that had yielded little success along the Chama River valley on November 1st, during Adams' commission to photograph the Southwest by the U.S. department of the Interior and the U.S. Potash Company of New Mexico.

As one of the most iconic images of the 20th century, and arguably Adams’s most celebrated image, the print offered in the present lot embodies Adams’s aesthetic as well as the power of photography to capture the majestic quality of fleeting moments.

More from Ansel Adams and the American West: Photographs from the Center for Creative Photography

View All
View All