Old photo negatives found in garage sale worth $200M

Old photo negatives found in garage sale worth $200M

By QMI AGENCY

One of dozens of new photos taken by Ansel Adams that were thought to have been lost to history. Found at a garage sale ten years ago, the negatives are now estimated to be worth $200 million. (ricknorsigian.com)
One of dozens of new photos taken by Ansel Adams that were thought to have been lost to history. Found at a garage sale ten years ago, the negatives are now estimated to be worth $200 million. (ricknorsigian.com)

Rick Norsigian chanced upon the antique box of glass negatives back in spring of 2000. It was at a garage sale, and he bargained the seller down to $40 from the initial asking price of $70. Today, they are valued at more than $200 million.

In 1937, a fire ripped through the darkroom of famed photographer Ansel Adams, destroying much of his portfolio. While historians had consigned them to the ashes of time, many of the glass negatives are now confirmed to represent this lost period of the photographer’s work.

“You look at these photographs and they take your breath away. But it is even more meaningful and rewarding to finally have the leading experts confirm what I believed in my heart when I saw the images for the first time,” Norsigian said. “Now, his fans worldwide and an entirely new generation can explore and fall in love with his work.”

It took years, and the work of half a dozen experts in fields from handwriting, forensics, meteorology and art to determine that the glass

negatives represented the original work of Ansel Adams. The evidence was even reviewed by a former FBI section chief to ensure that everything added up.

The lost period of work, never before seen, is now for sale on Norsigian’s website. Dark room prints made using the same techniques practiced by Adams are going for $7,500, while digital scans from the negatives are going for $1,500. For those a little more budget-conscious, lithograph posters can be had for $45.

Ansel Adams is a well-known American photographer, perhaps best known for a series of photos he took in Yosemite National Park in the 1940s. He died in 1984 at the age of 82.

 

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