Rick Norsigian’s campaign to have his trove of negatives recognized as the work of Ansel Adams has finally fizzled. This week the Adams estate sued to prevent Norsigian’s partners from using the photographer’s name and a planned documentary produced by Norsigian’s lawyer has been canceled. Momentum is definitely running against Norsigian and his team. One key misstep appears to have been trumpeting the $200 million figure that has alienated many who were sympathetic to the idea that these negatives were by Ansel Adams.
The Los Angeles Times’s David Ng has the lawsuit covered:
On Monday, the Ansel Adams Publishing Trust sued Norsigian to stop him and the consulting firm PRS Media Partners from using Adams’ name, likeness and trademark to sell prints not authorized by the Trust, according to an Associated Press report. The suit, which was filed in federal court in San Francisco, alleges trademark infringement and other claims. A lawyer for Norsigian told the AP that the suit is without merit and designed to harass his client.
The New York Times picks up the AP’s story on the canceled documentary. Arnold Peter is Norsigian’s lawyer and he had arranged a screening of the documentary at Cal State, Fresno:
Mr. Peter, who is executive producer of the film, told the university last week that he no longer wanted to screen the film there. He said in a statement to The Bay Citizen on Friday that the screening no longer made sense because Mr. Adams’s grandson, and the managing director of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, who dispute that the 65 negatives are the work of the famous photographer, had not agreed to take part in a discussion at the screening.
Ansel Adams Publishing Trust Files Suit Against Rick Norsigian (Culture Monster)
Event About Ansel Adams’s ‘Lost Negatives’ Is Canceled (Arts Beat/New York Times)