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Christie's New York to offer three exceptional photographs sales, including an online-only sale, in April
Ansel Adams, Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite Valley, c. 1939. Gelatin silver mural print, printed 1970s. Estimate: $200,000-300,000. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2014.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announced three Photographs sales to be offered in April –The Range of Light: Photographs by Ansel Adams, a live auction on April 3 dedicated to works by the artist; Photographs, a live auction (also on April 3), which will include a wide range of artists, from the early 20th century through today; and April in Paris, an online-only sale that will be open for bidding from March 28-April 10.

On April 3, Christie’s will present The Range of Light: Photographs by Ansel Adams, an auction dedicated solely to the work of this preeminent American artist. Featuring 25 lots that will appeal to new and seasoned buyers alike, the sale presents a wide variety of his best known images, including several rare, large-format ‘mural’ prints. This sale celebrates Adams’ colossal talent and his meticulous creative process, through which he was able to produce technically flawless prints from his carefully composed negatives.

Leading the sale is Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California, 1941 (estimate: $300,000-500,000). At nearly five feet wide, this tour-de-force is one of the very few that Adams printed on a large scale –the majority of the prints produced of this magnificent image were printed on 16 x 20 inch paper. The incredible result is a testament to Adams’ determination to capture a perfect image and his gift for being in the right place at the right time. Of Winter Sunrise, Adams said, “I observed the final shaft of light approaching. At the last moment the horse turned to show its profile, and I made the exposure. Within a minute the entire area was flooded with sunlight and the natural chiaroscuro was gone.” This lot hails from the Estate of Maynard Munger, Jr., in whose family it had resided for over five decades, and is accompanied by three letters written by the artist to Munger.

Directly following the sale of works by Ansel Adams, Christie’s will present Photographs, featuring over 200 exciting examples of modern and contemporary photography by such preeminent artists as Vik Muniz, Peter Beard, Richard Avedon and Manuel Alvarez-Bravo. Highlights include a gorgeous large-format portrait of Eleanor, the artist Harry Callahan’s wife, offered as a part of the James J. Brennan Collection; a beautiful proto-modernist image of Notre Dame by Pierre Dubreuil; and several stunning works by Irving Penn, including still lifes, nudes and many of his most sought-after fashion images.

Among the top lots in the sale is Philippe Halsman’s Marilyn Monroe, 1952 (estimate: $70,000-90,000). This magnificent and oversized headshot was taken during a Life Magazine photo shoot, from which a similar photograph would be published on the cover of the April 7, 1952 issue with the headline “Marilyn Monroe: The Talk of Hollywood,” cementing the actress’ star status. The work is offered on behalf of the Halsman Archive, on the occasion of a new exhibition celebrating the importance of Halsman’s oeuvre at present at the Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne and culminating at the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris in 2015.

Also leading the sale is an early print of Dorothea Lange’s White Angel Breadline, 1933 (estimate: $70,000-90,000), considered to be one of the greatest images to embody the Depression era. Dorothea Lange felt compelled to photograph what was going on during this pivotal moment in the nation’s history. Near the artist’s studio, a wealthy woman known as the “White Angel” had set up a bread line and Lange decided to document it, taking her brother along with her as it was unknown how those in line would react to the intrusion of her camera. She took this photograph on that first outing – now regarded as one of her best. It possesses both superb compositional sophistication and compelling emotional content. Early prints of the image, particularly from Lange’s own collection, are exceptionally rare. Lange gave this print to the photographer Paul Caponigro, who in turn presented it to the current owner in the 1960’s.

Christie’s first online-only Photographs sale of the season, April in Paris, will be open for bidding from March 28 through April 10 and will feature 58 classic black & white images that capture life and the city from the 1920’s-1950’s. Ranging in price from $1,500 to $20,000, the sale presents a fantastic opportunity for collectors of all levels to acquire works from some of the greatest photographers of the 20th century, including pioneers of photojournalism Henri Cartier-Bresson, Edouard Boubat and Robert Doisneau, as well as André Kertész, Brassaï and René-Jacques.

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