Ansel Adams' Family, Experts Dispute Photo Discovery

'They don't look like Ansel's work,' says biz manager
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2010 3:36 AM CDT
Updated Jul 28, 2010 6:22 AM CDT
Ansel Adams' Family, Experts Dispute Photo Discovery
Photographs displayed during a news conference, made from glass plate negatives suppposedly shot by the late photographer Ansel Adams.   (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Got the picture about the garage sale bargain hunter who found $200 million in lost Ansel Adams glass negatives? It turns out it may not be so black and white. Some experts and Adams' grandson are downright skeptical about the discovered "treasure," and say there's no way, even if the negatives are genuine, that they could fetch $200 million. Heir Matthew Adams said his "literate" grandmother never would have misspelled Yosemite place names she supposedly wrote on envelopes holding the negatives purchased by Fresno buyer Rick Norsigian. The late photographer's business manager, William Turnage, who continues to control rights to Adams' work, said the negatives "don't look like Ansel's' work."

Do "you have any idea how many people were photographing Yosemite in the 1920s and 1930s?" he asked the Wall Street Journal. "Millions! It could be anyone." He said experts enlisted by Norsigian are "doing this to make money." In any case, it's not Adams' negatives that are prized, but the "magic" he worked on prints in the darkroom, say dealers. Prints not made by the master "don't have much value," said one gallery owner.
(More Rick Norsigian stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.