Page 21 article text (OCR)
I THE SALINA JOURNAL LIFE SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12. 1997 BB PHOTOGRAPHY Photo enthusiast stumbles onto rare Ansel Adams images THE SUNDAY CROSSWORD Black-and-white treasures : "6f great art photographer • show his creative process i • - j/f? JEFF DANIEL '" '" ouls Post-Dispatch _ ST. LOUIS — This is the type of Jjffile that usually surfaces only in jydreams: the amusing anecdote * it often gets discounted as ur- myth. This is the story of a retired physician, a cardboard box and hidden treasure; of two California •'•photographers — one an amateur, ' J fhe other an American icon — and ^jUfeii 4 unlikely intersection. "' 'The year is 1986 and the setting is Monterey, the northern California town situated an hour or so down the peninsula from San ^IJETrancisco. James Knight, a re- j-j t}red surgeon and camera enthusi- .fje&t, wanders into Steve Myrick's .upjioto supply store, just as he has done regularly for years, v, .^Stacked high on a shelf are box- ^qs and boxes of photographic print .';Haper. Old and slightly battered, j.;itbe containers are a new addition to Myrick's shop. • i^-i'The paper stash, Myrick reveals ,jto Knight, is part of a huge haul '.'. from an Ansel Adams estate sale. _iiAdams, who died in 1984, was the ^photographer whose Western •jsUuidscapes have entered that .; isphere of familiarity populated by /tithe likes of Mona Lisa and Whistler's mother. just $500 i . ,-"Need some paper?" Myrick asks. Knight decides to think it over a while, browses the store, then offers $500 for the lot. Myrick hedges a bit, then finally declares: r '; rt Vou've got a deal." "-'^Several years pass, and many of , the boxes are emptied of their con- .^'fents as Knight pursues his hobby. •''Then one day, while stuck inside with a bad flu, Knight decides to "'idlpsely examine his boxes of pho- f ^graphic paper. One of them appears to be different from the oth- >>efs — something about "the • shake" that Knight gives it sounds $ bit odd. Y'VHe then notices the markings , : i scrawled on the container's side: ;-,u''Old series of special edition f! prints. No longer used. Extras." He drags his tired body over to his ,/phasement darkroom and flips on .jdts red light. is,* Jn the silent dimness, Knight lifts the lid and discovers that the , p 8-,by-10-inch printing paper has al" ready been exposed to the light — but not just any light. It's the light of the moon over El Capitan; the light of the snow shimmering in the Yosemite Valley. The light captured by the keen eye of Ansel Adams himself. , Knight wasn't exactly sure what "\\e was holding in his hands. He "contacted Myrick, who — without r O arjy trace of bitterness — suggested that the good doctor might have "' ^tumbled onto something quite 'f$uuable. |' J( ,^.So Knight rang up an appraiser *'tp' place a value on the prints, '^.triany of which were part of multi- '' ri ple copy sets that showed a slight '^variance, and most of which con- '"-'tgined handwritten notes, an offi- i'.'c^al stamp and an occasional "Ansel Adams signature. Off the ,,,t9p of his head, the appraiser ''Arew out a figure of $40,000. Seeking more information, 1 Scripps Howard News Service Dana Gray displays some of the Ansel Adams prints one of her clients found In an old box bought at an Adams' estate auction. Gray is the assistant manager at 20th Century Masters Gallery Brokerage In St. Louis. ] M o; 1 Knight then went straight to the source — the Adams estate. But his calls were disappointing. "They wouldn't give me the time of day," says Knight. "They just said, 'Well, enjoy your prints.' " Enjoy them Knight did, numbering and placing them into a scrapbook for safekeeping. And there they sat for another few years, until early this summer, when Knight got in touch with Jack West, an old friend and art dealer from nearby Carmel who now lives in St. Louis and operates the 20th Century Masters Art Caller.. The internationally known dealer and researcher took on the project of identifying the titles and locations of the shots, searching for dates, finding out as much as possible. "We contacted the Adams Gallery in Yosemite to find out which prints had been discontinued and why these were different sizes than the ones in the books," says West. At each turn it became more apparent these were the working prints of Ansel Adams, the steps his mind went through as he created, experimented and played. Like those of Knight, West's calls to the Adams estate weren't exactly met with an enthusiastic response. Naturally, West says, the Adams estate would like the prints back, and that's a possibility after the researching and cataloguing are completed. But the estate, like any other bidder, would have to make an acceptable offer. And when one considers that these prints are 8-by- 10s straight from the negative, were probably overseen directly by Adams, and contain what looks to be his handwritten directions — then who knows what price they could bring? Prints have amazing clarity '•• Some shots have been out of the public eye for years, and some are slight variations on familiar Adams compositions: the moon may be slightly more to the left of a mountain peak; a Yosemite stream may be frozen rather than flowing. And because of their small size, the prints contain an amazing clarity. But their real value, West believes, lies in their role as a process continuum. He notes the box contains "a little bit of this, a little bit of that — it may have been something Adams used for his personal purposes." To West, such intricate, behind- the-scenes details are historically invaluable. He and Knight believe that perhaps the works should go to an institution, maybe one where photographers can see how Adams worked toward a finished product. But even if the prints are "historically invaluable," what will they fetch on the open market? In a recent case involving a found cache of negatives and prints by Brett Weston (son of Adams peer and fellow legend Edward Weston), a bidding war ensued between a private buyer and the Whitney Museum of American Art, pushing the price to $1.5 million. "ORE GALORE" By RICHARD THOMAS ACROSS 1 Himalayan goat 5 Babushka 10 Takes notes hurriedly 14 Rim 18 Mayberry moppet 19 Heart outlet 20 Serial material 22 Hammer 23 SCORE 25 WORE 27 Perfumes 28 "Over-" 30 Smidgens 31 Proposal 32 Shortcoming 33 Pivot 34 Comedian John 36 Sllnger Satchel 37 Jib kin 41 Bed boards 42 TORE 44 To and — 45 Changes course 46 Dreyfus or Oppenheimer 47 Film 48 Hearty dish 49 It's a bad thing 50 SORE 54 Movie man Oliver 55 Neptune's weaponry 57 Displays literacy 58 Easystrider 59 Fool 60 Pub pastime 61 Respiratory ailment 63 Largest African country 65 Stray calf 66 —by: value 69 Shark's crime 70 SHORE 72 Cut cords 73 Big name in merchandising 74 Neanderthal digs 75 Harbinger 76 — up: judge 77 Ice or Iron 78 MORE 62 A Cottontail 63 Observance 85 Tin Pan, e.g. 86 Docile 87 For fear that 88 Home or bed follower 89 Whttey'8 catcher 90 Metal die 92 Mucho 93 Like a love story 97 GORE 99 SWORE 101 Turning point 102 Busybody 103 Cove 104 TV's Hartman 105 Phoenician port 106 Widespread 107 Casals'strings 108 Verve DOWN Bag or board Zenith Insinuate Second editions Cupfe companion — del Sol 7 Beaux — 8 AAA suggestion 9 Ship's aft area 10 Like a crown 11 Warhol genre 12 Fatigue 13 Inst of learning 14 Plays the ham 15 Carveyor Delany 16 Start of a Loesser title 17 Slippery — 21 Stain 24 Fills a hold 26 Equine 29 Brobdingnaglan 32 Golfer Nick 33 After hand or grand 34 Actor Underwood 35 BORE 36 Fourth down plays 37 Le Carre characters 38 FORE 39 One of the Horae 40 Become gloomy 41 Plan:Abbr. 42 Crack sealer 43 Boric and citric 46 Norwegian neighbor 48 Dauntless 50 Swampllke 51 Confederate General Braxton — 52 Chilling 53 Spud 54 Wading sound 56 Personal journal 60 Recipient 61 Crete's capital 62 No-hit Nolan 63 Poison Ivy's cousin 64 Practice 65 Split the take 66 "Bounty" crewman 67 Flattened 68 Jug 70 New Orleans' pro 71 Passed out 74 Intimately '4 76 Florida resident 76 Last letter 79 Staccato sound 80 Iditarod vehicle 81 Credit cards 82 Infidel 84 Goby ] 86 PartofBLT '-, 88 Out of—: cranky -•' 89 Hayseed 90 Appealing ^ 91 Mllldam .;", 92 Siberian streapp 93 Kind of call :> 94 Shadow 95 "- Mad, Mad, Mad,..." *' 96 Celluloid sleuth 97 Claret container 98 Short drink 100 Small bill 10/12/97 ©1997 Los Angeles Times Syndicate ANSWERS TO TODAY'S PUZZLE ARE ON PAGE B2. ANNUAL FASHION SHOW SALINA REGIONAL HEALTH CENTER AUXILIARY Tickets remain for these performances at the Salina Country Club: Luncheon, Tuesday, October 21, at 11:30 a.m. Luncheon, Wednesday, October 22, at 11:30 a.m. \ Ticket orders must be received no later than Saturday. October 18 by: Sherry Ingles, 110 S. Bradley Drive, Salina....with check for tickets ($20 each) made payable to SRHC Auxiliary and designation of performance date. Show proceeds go toward expansion of Salina Regional's cardiology services. AUTUMN MADNESS Sale Gifts & Silk Flowers through Oct. 31,1997 DESIGNS by 528 Kenwood Park Dr. .v'2 Blocks South of Bicentennial Center •827-5581 Mon.-Fri. 8-5:30 Sat. 84^, WORLD'S GREATEST HAIRCUT 5 EVERYDAY! snip IT CUP I FAMILY HAIRCUT SHOPS GALAXY CENTER 825-4054 (Across from Central Mall) Open Nights and Sundays—Just Drop Inl REG. $45 QUANTUM PERMS $ 29 95 COMPLETE WITH CUTI Long Heir Extra imffi Ba<* Berber ,, t „." jr ~ . . ^Won$ Scratch Wood Floors 3 Colors Hetail $20.99 ^ m* ^* ^icWPrW' '^P'v^lp^p^W^fp^ff ^Wfl^^m .' '*(" I .* 2559 Market Place * Salina (785) 825-6260 * 800-748-7493 Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9:00-5:30, Mon. &Thgrs. Night Til 7:00, Closed Sunday.