If experts on the subject in Beverly Hills are correct in their assessment, three boxes of glass negatives purchased at a garage sale for $45 ten years ago were a very prudent investment.
Rick Norsigian, a painter from Fresno, bargained their original owner down from $100- but art appraisers are saying the set of negatives are actually worth $200m because they are early works of nature photographer Ansel Adams. If the estimates are correct, the pictures were believed to have been lost in a darkroom fire in 1937:
“It truly is a missing link of Ansel Adams and history and his career,” said David W. Streets, the appraiser and art dealer who is hosting an unveiling of the photographs at his Beverly Hills, California, gallery Tuesday…
“This is going to show the world the evolution of his eye, of his talent, of his skill, his gift, but also his legacy,” Streets said. “And it’s a portion that we thought had been destroyed in the studio fire.”
The SF Gate, however, quoted the late photographer’s grandson Matthew as doubting the authenticity of the images last year:
“Mr. Norsigian has been claiming these negatives were made by Ansel Adams for many years,” he said. “I am unaware of anyone knowledgeable agreeing with him.”
But the CNN piece seems to have many people who disagree- including a “burden of proof” expert:
“I have sent people to prison for the rest of their lives for far less evidence than I have seen in this case,” said evidence and burden of proof expert Manny Medrano, who was hired by Norsigian to help authenticate them. “In my view, those photographs were done by Ansel Adams.”