A rare print of Ansel Adamsâ€™ photograph, â€œMoonriseâ€ has been sold for a record $609,600 in an auction at Sothebyâ€™s New York.
The photograph was acquired by a London gallery owner in behalf of a private client Tuesday. The 1948 print was owned by Adamsâ€™ friend and former assistant Pirkle Jones, who got it directly from the photography legend.
â€œMoonriseâ€ is one of Adamsâ€™ most famous photographs. He was driving past Hernandez, Mexico late in the day on November 1, 1941 when he took the picture. â€œAdams managed to set up his camera and grab the image just as the daylight was disappearing,â€ according to Sotheby’s catalog notes.
“We in the auction world live for moments like this,” Sotheby’s senior VP Chris Mahoney said of the latest “Moonrise” sale. “Adams is due this kind of showing at auction.”
He made only a handful of prints of the negative until 1948, when he reprocessed it to increase the density of the foreground to make it easier to print.
There was another â€œMoonriseâ€ print in 2002 which sold for $136,000. The previous auction record for any Adams photograph was set earlier this year with a series called â€œSurf Sequence, San Mateo Coast, California. It sold for $352,000.