Ansel Adams pictures Bought for $45 Worth $200M

A Beverly Hills, Calif., Artistry appraiser has estimated that sixty-five glass negatives a painter bought at a garage sale a decade ago for $45 were taken by famous photographerAnsel Adams and are worth around $200 millions.

The photographs depict such California sights as Yosemite National Park, San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf and the scenic city of Carmel, CBS News affiliate KGPE-TV in Fresno, Calif., reported last fall. Adams' black-and-white photography ofYosemite helped him become an icon of American photography.

"It truly is a missing link of Ansel Adams and history and his career," David W. Streets, the appraiser whose Beverly Hills gallery will show the photographs Tuesday, told CNN about the photographs once thought to have been lost to a darktoom fire in 1937.

Painter Rick Norsigian of Fresno, who bought the negatives, went to great lengths to authenticate them, even going so far as to enlist a former curator of the Boston Museum of Art, he told KGPE-TV in 2009.

"I have estimated that his $45 investment easily could be worth up to $200 million," Streets told the network.

Norsigian told CNN the person who sold him the negatives bought them from a Los Angeles warehouse in the 1940s. Patrick Alt, a photography expert who helped authenticate the negatives, told the network that Adams likely brought them to a photography class he taught in Pasadena, Calif.


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