The Arthur C. Pillsbury Collection
Brigham Young University
On Monday, November 28 - Saturday, December 2nd, Melinda spent days at the Horace B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University at Special Collections viewing the Pillsbury photos, letters and other items which were sold within hours of his death. When Dr. Arthur F. Pillsbury, Arthur C's son arrived, having driven up upon being notified his father had died suddenly, AEtheline was trying to sell the grandfather clock, which had been in the family since before the American Revolution.
Distressed at having these essential records sold, along with all of the original cameras his father had built, Dr. Pillsbury asked for the identity of the purchaser. AEtheline refused to divulge the information.
Father occasionally looked for signs of the collection but never spoke of his feelings on this until after reading a book by Shirley Sargent on the Concessionaires of Yosemite in the late 1970s.
Father did not learn the photos had been found until the late 1980's. This information was known to both Virginia and Ansel Adams who sent an associate of their's Steve Harrison, to BYU in an attempt to purchase the collection through him for themselves. Harrison learned the collection was at BYU from Virginia, who was told by Ansel who had learned of this from Mr. Rell G. Francis of Springville, Utah.
Harrison did not tell Dr. Pillsbury, although he was in close communication with him at the time. Read these letters for yourself.
1978 - 1993