Armenian Man Stumbles on Treasure at Garage Sale

Ansel Adams Photograph

From Long Island Press
Ten years ago in California, Rick Norsigian purchased two small boxes containing 65 glass negatives for $45. Today those glass negatives are being identified as belonging to famous nature photographer Ansel Adams, and are valued at $200 million. reports that the negatives are dated back to a 1937 darkroom fire that destroyed 5,000 of Adam’s plates. David W. Streets, an art dealer and appraiser believes that the photos were taken between 1919 and 1930s, before Adams became well known.

Photography expert Patrick Alt believes that Adams carried the negatives to a class he was teaching in Pasadena, California, which would help to explain how they wound up in a Los Angels warehouse. This is where the person who sold the negatives to Norsigian found them in a 1940s warehouse salvage.

The negatives are of Yosemite landscapes and San Francisco landmarks, areas well known to Adams. “It is truly a missing link of Ansel Adams and history and his career,” said Streets, who will put the works on display tonight in Los Angeles.

Norsigian, an artist himself, has been working to prove the authenticity of these photographs since the purchase in 2000.


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