Dec 15, 2020
News

An Ansel Adams photograph achieved a new auction record for the artist at Sotheby’s.

Ansel Adams, The Grand Tetons and the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (1942). Courtesy Sotheby’s.

Ansel Adams, The Grand Tetons and the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (1942). Courtesy Sotheby’s.

A photograph by Ansel Adams achieved a new auction record for the artist at a dedicated Sotheby’s sale yesterday. A large-scale print of Adams’s The Grand Tetons and the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (1942) sold for $988,000, beating the photographer’s previous record of $722,500, achieved at a Sotheby’s New York sale in 2010.
The Grand Tetons and the Snake River sold as part of Sotheby’s dedicated sale “A Grand Vision: The David H. Arrington Collection of Ansel Adams Masterworks.” The auction saw 123 lots go under the hammer, achieving $6.4 million in total sales with a sell-through rate of 94 percent by lot. Nearly half of the offered works achieved prices above their estimates, helping push the auction to the highest total for a Sotheby’s photograph sale since 2014.
Emily Bierman, head of Sotheby’s Photographs Department in New York, said in a statement:
The spectacular results from yesterday’s sale not only affirmed Ansel Adams as one of the most important artists of the 20th century, but also that his subject matter is as relevant today as when it was created over half a century ago [...] The collection put together by David H. Arrington was unprecedented in its scale, scope, and condition, and now proudly takes its place among the most significant collections of photographs to ever come to auction. Handling this collection has been an enormous privilege for our entire team, and, personally, an opportunity I will cherish in my career.
According to Artsy data, Adams has been among the 30 most in-demand photographers on the platform since 2018.

Further Reading: The Story Behind the Photograph That Made Ansel Adams Famous