Ansel Adams Archival Replicas
About fifteen minutes ago, my Inbox announced the arrival of a new line from the Ansel Adams Gallery (the first offering of a new reproduction type in almost 25 years). The new line will be digitally created, and will be offered in sizes from 7″x9″ to 28″x30″, with pricing from around $100 to nearly $1000. This is a far greater variety than is offered in the Special Edition Prints line.
From the email:
The ability to offer high-quality digital reproductions of photographs made by Ansel Adams was first considered three to four years ago when Matthew Adams and his staff started seeing printers with the capability of producing neutral black and white images with deep blacks. “However, we were disappointed that neutral, gray-ink-only reproductions rarely came close to Ansel’s photographs,” described Matthew Adams, “In the past two years, technology has advanced to the point that we’re now able to make reproductions of my grandfather’s originals to extraordinarily exacting standards.”
The imaging process employed is so advanced that, other than The Ansel Adams Gallery, only the Getty Museum and Smithsonian Institution are now using it. That technology, coupled with digital printers that use 12 inks, including four shades of gray, gives the Archival Replicas the full range of hues and tones of gelatin silver prints, according to Matthew. “We think these are the best large-format reproductions of Ansel’s work yet made,” he said.
Currently offered are seven images: White House Ruin; Yosemite Valley, Thuderstorm; Half Dome, Blowing Snow; Point Sur, Storm; Golden Gate Headlands; Jeffrey Pine; and Sierra Meadow. You can see (and purchase) them all here.
Technical details on the Archival Replicas line is available here. Although the details are interesting to read in full, I was especially impressed with this note:
The technology begins with imaging, but the entire process begins with image selection. The Archival Replicas are reproductions made from original photographs hand printed by Ansel Adams, rather than from the negatives. This allows us to accurately capture Ansel’s intent when he made the photograph, including all of the choices he made in the darkroom – paper selection, burning, dodging, and toning – to achieve his “visualization”.
The announcement email mentions that new photographs from the archive will be introduced each year. That said, the current seven are a perfect introduction for the new line, and will make perfect Christmas giving. (If anyone wants to buy me one, I especially like Golden Gate Headlands in one of the larger sizes.)
And for those of you who are only happy with the unsurpassed look of a gelatin silver photograph, remember that through November 30, the AA Gallery is making their Special Edition Prints available at 10% off, only $202.50 apiece.
Update: A post on the Ansel Adams Gallery’s official blog late this evening contains the text of the announcement email from earlier today.