The J. Paul Getty Museum today announced a donation of 25 photographs by acclaimed 20th century photographer Ansel Adams (American, 1902–1984). A gift of Carol Vernon and her husband Robert Turbin in memory of Marjorie and Leonard Vernon, “The Museum Set” was purchased from Adams by Vernon’s parents, with the understanding that they would one day be donated to a museum. Having been in the same hands since their initial purchase, the photographs are in pristine condition, and greatly enhance the Getty’s existing collection of 40 photographs by Adams.
In 1979, near the end of his seven decade career, Adams began to produce what he called “The Museum Set,” a project initiated with the help of Maggi Weston of Weston Gallery in Carmel, California. From over 2,500 of his negatives, Adams selected 75 images, which included photographs from as early as 1923 to as late as 1968. Collectors could purchase a “complete” set of 75 prints, or they could select their own set of 25 that Adams himself would print for purchase. Each set was called the “Ansel Adams Museum Set” and was purchased on the condition that the buyer would eventually donate their set to a museum.