Entries by Guest Author

Market Snapshot: Ansel Adams

Landscape photographer and environmental activist Ansel Adams’s lucid black and white photographs of the American wilderness helped establish photography as a legitimate art form. A half-century later, there is still an unimpeachable interest in his work at virtually any price point.

“Ansel’s work seems to be sort of a ‘gold standard’ in the photography market,” the artist’s grandson Matthew Adams, president of the Ansel Adams Gallery, told artnet via email. “His work has appreciated, and does fluctuate with the market in general, but doesn’t see the extreme highs and lows that we sometimes see with other photographers’ work.”

Ansel Anecdotes

The story of the making of the photograph Moonrise, Hernandez , New Mexico is legendary. Ansel’s description in Examples: The Making of Forty Photographs is oft repeated, and quite dramatic. We have brought together several vignettes that put a little more perspective on what let up to the dramatic moment on a lonely highway at 4:05 PM (local time), October 31, 1941.

Ansel Adams: The Role of the Artist in the Environmental Movement

by ROBERT TURNAGE, March 1980
Reprinted courtesy of the Wilderness Society from The Living Wilderness

In the history of American conservation, few have worked as long and as effectively to preserve wilderness and to articulate the “wilderness idea” as Ansel Adams. Entering his seventh decade of active involvement, he remains as much a crusader. Wilderness has always been for Adams “a mystique: a valid, intangible, non-materialistic experience.” Through his photographs he has touched countless people with a sense of that mystique and a realization of the importance of preserving the last remaining wilderness lands. This inspirational legacy of Adams ‘ art constitutes his major significance as an environmentalist. In addition, he has been an important activist in the work of several conservation groups and has personally lobbied congressmen, cabinet officers and Presidents on behalf of wilderness values.

Ansel Adams was born on February 20, 1902, in San Francisco and grew up in the dunes area by the Golden Gate . In those days the Pacific surf and fog were a much more evident influence than the surrounding city. Ansel’s earliest memory is of lying in his carriage watching low fog move across the sky.