The "Ansel Adams Museum Sets” were photographs selected out of his archives and printed by Adams near the end of his life, then sold on condition that the buyers would eventually donate their set to a museum. This group of 25 images was purchased in 1981 by Los Angeles collectors Marjorie and Leonard Vernon, who were allowed to choose the photographs they wanted. Their daughter and son-in-law made the donation to the Getty. From the Getty today:
Having been in the same hands since their initial purchase, the photographs are in pristine condition, and greatly enhance the Getty’s existing collection of 40 photographs by Adams....
“’The Museum Set’ is significant in several ways, the first being that it helps us understand how Adams evaluated his work, and how he wanted future generations to view it,” explains Judith Keller, senior curator in the Getty Museum’s Department of Photographs. “The set was initiated around the same time that Adams began writing his autobiography and within a few years after he co-founded the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, Arizona, so this project can be seen as one of self-reflection after a long and successful career.”
Included in the set of 25 are nine prints from Yosemite and three others of the Sierra Nevada, including the above view of Mt. Williamson as seen from Manzanar in the Owens Valley in 1944. "The collection also contains two prints from Alaska, three from Northern California, including an image of the “Golden Gate” in San Francisco Bay taken in 1932 before the bridge was constructed, and three from the Southwest, including Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico (1941), which once held the record for the highest price ever paid for a photograph at auction," the Getty announcement says. Two portraits are in the batch: Georgia O’Keeffe and Orville Cox at Canyon de Chelly in 1937, and Jose Clemente Orozco in New York City in 1933.
For a selection of other Adams photos from Manzanar, see my post from last month, Ansel Adams' 110th birthday. In January I posted a selection of Adams' lost Los Angeles photographs now on public display in Downtown courtesy of the Los Angeles Public Library.
Top photo: Mt. Williamson, Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, negative 1944, print 1981. Lower photo: Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, negative 1941, print 1980. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Gift of Carol Vernon and Robert Turbin in Memory of Marjorie and Leonard Vernon.