Ansel Adams Portfolio Sale to Benefit Castle Rock State Park

(March 4, 2019) Sempervirens Fund—the Bay Area land trust dedicated to preserving redwood forests in the Santa Cruz Mountains—today announced the gallery show and auction of a portfolio of 15 works by famed photographer Ansel Adams. Portfolio Four: What Majestic Word, In Memory of Russell Varian is appraised at more than $100,000 and contains hand-written notes from Adams.

Proceeds from the sale will help fund the Robert C. Kirkwood Entrance, a state-of-the-art portal to Castle Rock State Park that includes a 90-car parking lot with environmentally sensitive permeable paving, electric car charging stations, six restrooms with flush toilets, a drinking water station, a 60-seat amphitheater, a native plants garden, accessible pathways and picnic areas, WiFi connectivity, and a downloadable app with trail maps. Work on the entrance is nearly complete; it will open later this year.

Invitation to Art Ventures Gallery show.

Invitation to Art Ventures Gallery show.

Prints of Portfolio Four will be on view to the public March 29–31 at Art Ventures Gallery in Menlo Park. These will be featured alongside several camera-less photos by fine art photographer Robert Buelteman. Described as “a bizarre union of Dr. Frankenstein and Georgia O’Keeffe,” Buelteman uses high-frequency, high-voltage electricity and different light sources to capture the beauty and energy of plants onto film. Work by the two artists has never been shown together.

Both Adams and Buelteman have unique histories with the land trust. Adams served on an early Sempervirens Fund advisory committee. He created the portfolio as both a memorial to Silicon Valley entrepreneur Russell Varian and to help raise funds to fulfill Varian’s dream of protecting the land that is now Castle Rock State Park. A longtime volunteer and supporter of Sempervirens Fund, Buelteman served as a Sempervirens Fund board member from 2010–2012 and has photographed several properties the land trust owns. These are represented in his portfolio, Californiana.

“Dorothy Varian worked with Sempervirens Fund to establish Castle Rock State Park in 1968, and gifted Portfolio Four to us specifically to help care for the future of the land.” said Sempervirens Fund Executive Director Sara Barth. “This sale helps us establish a lasting monument to showcase the park and point visitors toward other protected Sempervirens Fund lands in the Santa Cruz Mountains.”

Fine art auction house Christie’s will hold an online sale of the portfolio Tuesday, April 2 from their New York, N.Y. location.

About Sempervirens Fund
Sempervirens Fund protects and permanently preserves redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests, wildlife habitat, watersheds, and other important natural and scenic features of California’s Santa Cruz Mountains, and encourages public appreciation and enjoyment of this environment. Visit and follow @SempervirensFund.

About Art Ventures Gallery and Robert Buelteman
Art Ventures Gallery is located at 888 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park, Calif. 94025. Call 650-400-5325 for more information or visit Robert Buelteman is a celebrated fine art photographer whose works connect audiences to subjects in an emotionally transcendent manner. For more information, visit

About Robert C. Kirkwood and the Kirkwood Family Fund
Robert C. Kirkwood (1939–2017) was the director of government and education affairs for Hewlett Packard Company and served on several nature conservancy and land trust boards. In addition to a generous donation for the Castle Rock Entrance project, each year the Kirkwood family contributes to Sempervirens Fund from the Kirkwood Fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Kirkwood’s mother, Jean Hazard Gerlinger, worked closely with the Varians to establish Castle Rock State Park.

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