(CN) – Ansel Adams’ son sued the Fresno Metropolitan Museum, seeking return of six of his father’s iconic works, including three shots of Yosemite Valley. The museum went out of business in January and is liquidating its assets, and Dr. Michael Adams says that he struck out the phrase “the [museum] directors are at liberty to use or dispose of this property at their unrestricted discretion,” in the Declaration of Gift in 1983.
In his claim in Fresno in Superior Court, Adams seeks return of the large prints of three Yosemite prints: Half Dome in winter (1938), Moon and Half Dome (1960), and Tenaya Creek, Dogwood, Rain (c. 1948). He also wants back Mt. McKinley and Wonder Lake (1947), White House Ruin, Canyon de Chelly (1942), and Clearing Storm, Sonoma County Hills (1951).
Adams says that when he learned the museum was liquidating its collection, he asked it, through counsel, to return the prints. The museum responded, through its counsel, “that it believes the plaintiff’s gifts of the Adams Prints was absolute and unconditional,” and that “The Met believes that it may sell the Adams Prints to satisfy its creditors’ claims.”
Adams disputes that. He seeks declaratory relief and an injunction. He is represented by Rene Lastreto II of Lang, Ritchert & Patch.