Mike Boehm digs further on the Norsigian negatives and discovers that the embattled owner was encouraged to give the trove to an academic institution so the work could be authenticated free from the profit motive that led one appraiser to claim the trove was worth a small fortune:
Instead, Norsigian went on trying to authenticate the pictures on his own. Eventually he assembled his own team of paid experts — all virtual unknowns in the photography world. Despite their lack of cachet, the report and appraisal Norsigian issued last month made headlines all over the world, because it concluded not only that the 65 glass-plate negatives of Yosemite and coastal California had been taken by Adams in the 1920s and early 1930s but also that they were worth at least $200 million.
Norsigian’s top authenticators, art consultant Robert C. Moeller III and photographer Patrick Alt, respectively described that sum this week as “puzzling” and a “bunch of crap.”
Spaulding, now executive director of the Museum of the American West at L.A.’s Autry National Center, recalled this week how Norsigian had visited him about seven years ago, bringing the negatives in a box.
Spaulding says he told Norsigian that, although the pictures could have been taken by Adams, he wasn’t sure and that the best thing would be to get them into the hands of curators who would know how to do tests and comparisons with an eye toward establishing who took them.
Negatives ‘authenticated’ as Ansel Adams’ work — but by whom? (Los Angeles Times)