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Press Release - September 22, 2014

Ansel Adams’ Masterpiece Portfolio I (Twelve Photographs) May Bring $40,000 At Heritage Auctions In New York

Private collections holding masterpieces by Helmut Newton and Brett Weston offered Oct. 16 in New York

NEW YORK — Ansel Adams' signed Portfolio I (Twelve Photographs), 1938-48 — one of 75 sets purchased directly from the photographer and rarely found intact — may sell for $40,000+ in Heritage Auctions' Photographs Signature Auction Oct. 16 in New York. The portfolio is one highlight that comes to market for the first time in decades.

"This is the largest selection of photography ever offered at Heritage at one time and it is dominated by focused selections and important private collections," said Rachel Peart, Director of Photographs at Heritage Auctions. "The diversity is highlighted by geniuses: Abbott, Weston, Newton, and Penn."

Adams dedicated Portfolio One to his friend Alfred Stieglitz, who mounted one of the photographer's first exhibitions in New York. Each photograph is signed on the mount, stamped and numbered. A second collection of Adams prints, Portfolio Two, also purchased from the artist by the same collector, is scheduled for Heritage's spring 2015 photographs auction. "The fact that these have been held privately since they were originally purchased makes them especially attractive to admirers of Adams' work," Peart said. Additional works by Adams in the auction include Half Dome, Blowing Snow, Yosemite National Park, California, 1955 (est. $15,000+) and Golden Gate Before the Bridge, 1932 (est. $15,000+).

A second rare portfolio offered in the auction includes Bret Weston's Twenty Photographs Portfolio, 1970-77, each a signed and dated and numbered 18/35 (est. $30,000+). Twenty Photographs leads a collection of work by Weston in the auction, many of which are from The Cohen Collection, the second half from the private California collection. These include Volcanic Devastation, 1978 (est. $5,000+); Sierra Lake, Alaska, 1977 (est. $3,000); and Leaf and Rain Drops, 1979 (est. $3,000+).

As a giant of contemporary photography, Tied-Up Torso, Ramatuelle, 1980, a gelatin silver print by Helmut Newton (est. $60,000+) featuring the photographer's oft used model Henriette Allais. Tied-Up Torso, Ramatuelle, 1980, perfectly summarizes the confrontational nature and surrealist undertones of his collective body of work.

The auction also features a collection of more than 30 works by Berenice Abbott, led by Designer's Window, Bleecker St., 1948, an early gelatin silver (est. $4,000+) and Self Portrait with Distortion, circa 1945, a ferrotyped early gelatin silver (est. $4,000+).

Collector's favorites include a selection of more than 40 images of Marilyn Monroe by Bert Stein, Milton Greene, Lawrence Schiller, and Andre De Dienes. Stern's Marilyn Monroe, Sleeping, 1962, is signed in ink (est. $7,000+) and Marilyn Monroe, Sequined Gloves, 1962, (est. $7,000+), appear at auction from a private Dallas collection.

Additional highlights include, but are not limited to:

Spanish Gypsy Family, 1965, by Irving Penn, from a private New Mexico Collection (est. $20,000+).

Gift of the Commonplace Portfolio (Ten photographs), 1930-76, by Ruth Bernhard (est. $18,000+)

Harvest, 1994, Polaroid, 27 by 21 inches, by William Wegman, from a private New York Collection (est. $7,000+).

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