NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (AP) — A small New York college has been given a rare collection of 75 signed Ansel Adams photographs, selected as a set by the artist himself, the college announced Tuesday.
Among the images is the famous "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico" as well as several well-known scenes of Yosemite National Park and photographs of artist Georgia O'Keefe and photographer Alfred Stieglitz.
The College of New Rochelle said that the gift, worth $2.5 million, is from Caryl Horwitz, former director of its graduate art department. Her late husband acquired the collection in the 1980s.
The 75 photographs make up what is known as Adams' Museum Set Edition of Fine Prints, a selection he made beginning in the late 1970s. He created several Museum Sets before his death in 1984.
In March, when the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles acquired 25 of the 75 prints, senior curator Judith Keller said, "The Museum Set is significant in several ways, the first being that it helps us understand how Adams evaluated his work, and how he wanted future generations to view it."
The gift was made to honor former Sister Dorothy Ann Kelly, who was president of the college while Horwitz was there.
Current President Judith Huntington called the donation "a profound compliment" to the 109-year-old school, which has a picturesque campus in New Rochelle and five outposts in New York City. The College of New Rochelle was the first Catholic college for women in New York and its School of Arts and Sciences is still women-only.
"This gift has so much meaning to CNR," she said. "More than I can describe. Our focus has always been in the arts and the liberal arts."
She said the college has not decided how or where to display the photographs — there are security and climate-control issues to solve — but will try to make the collection available to as many people as possible.
"We don't want to keep it locked up," she said. "We'll find ways to share it."
Fifteen of the signed images will be displayed at the college's Castle Gallery for a celebration on Thursday night.
The college said that when Horwitz's husband, Martin Horwitz, a business executive and art collector, bought the photographs, he agreed the collection would one day be donated to a museum or school.