Ansel Adams exhibit shows the artist’s great works

There is a small bridge on Sentinel Drive in Yosemite National Park that, on any given summer evening, will be crowded with photographers.

The ones on the front row staked out their position midday, willing to wait hours until the late-afternoon light washes over the majestic granite slab of Half Dome, the object of everyone’s focus. The photographers line up two and three deep; latecomers will have to stand on the river banks or in the water, and they willingly do so. They are all after the same photograph, a clear shot at Half Dome.

Never mind that the herd of photographers is standing on a bridge built in 2000 or that the shutterbugs are using digital cameras or camera phones, not the Hasselblad that Ansel Adams used in December 1960 to get his famous Moon and Half Dome.

They are there in homage to the great American photographer to get their own, poor facsimile of the monolith Adams photographed for decades. This is Adams’ legacy — crowds of photographers wanting to emulate him, millions of tourists visiting the wilderness areas he held dear and a portfolio of the greatest landscape photographs of the 20th century.

He championed photography as an art form throughout his life. His efforts on behalf of the environment and preservation of the national parks and wilderness areas were tireless. After his death, a wilderness area near Yosemite and a mountain were named for him. But it is his spectacular black-and-white photographs that are his most indelible legacy.

A selection of what he considered his very best are on view in “Ansel Adams: Masterworks” at the Arlington Museum of Art through Aug. 3. Shortly before his death in 1984, he chose 75 photographs that spanned his output from 1923 to 1968, printed them, and offered them for sale to collectors for $30,000 (now valued at $2.5 million) with the stipulation that they could never be sold, only donated to museums.

About 10 “Museum Sets” were made before his death; two are owned by his children. The group on display in Arlington, edited to 48 for exhibition, is owned by Turtle Bay Exploration Park of Redding, Calif.

 

Internment of Japanese-Americans, Seen Through The Lens Of Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams is renowned for his stunning, black-and-white photographs of landscapes in the American West. But, in 1943, he documented one of the most shameful events in U.S. history.

In commemoration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Library of Congress (LOC) blog directs readers to an online set of rare photographs that Adams donated to the Library between 1965 and 1968, placing no copyright restrictions on their use.

As the LOC notes:

Several months after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, more than 110,000 people of Japanese ancestry were forced from their homes on the West Coast and sent to “relocation centers” by the United States government, which had declared war on Japan.

Documents accompanying the Adams online photo collection say the evacuation “struck a personal chord” with Adams after an ailing family employee was taken from his home to a faraway hospital. When Ralph Merritt, director of the Manzanar War Relocation Center, invited Adams to document camp life, he welcomed the opportunity. He shot more than 200 photos, mostly portraits, but also scenes from daily camp life with the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains often visible in the background.

Adams told an interviewer in 1974 that “from a social point of view,” his Manzanar photos were the “most important thing I’ve done or can do, as far as I know.” read more

Four generations of Weston photography hit the National Steinbeck Center

Some families pass down heirlooms. Others pass down first names. The Westons pass down photography – or rather, an eye for photography.

That’s Weston as in Edward Weston, the acclaimed 20th century photographer. He, like his friend Ansel Adams, was famous for his crisp black and white images and a knack for transforming ordinary objects into sensuous mysteries. One of his most famous works is a photo of a pepper, gnarled and twisted as if shriveling into itself. The image is strikingly – or perturbingly – human. Another, a 1927 picture of a smooth and curvaceous shell, may well be described as erotic. “Nautilus,” as it’s called, sold in a New York auction for more than $1 million. His work ranged from still lifes to nudes, and many were taken in Point Lobos near his cabin, where his family still lives.

“Edward Weston’s legacy cannot be underestimated,” says photographer Huntington Witherill, who studied under Edward Weston’s son, Brett, as well as Adams. “He, together with a few other photographers in this area, established what’s known as the West Coast school of photography, which is known worldwide.”

Three subsequent generations of Westons have carried on the master’s photographic legacy, each traveling afield of Edward’s work to cultivate their own unique styles. Now the work can be seen as one. An exhibit of four Weston photographers’ black and white images will be shown at the Steinbeck Center from March 29 to May 31along with the work of student winners of the annual Weston Scholarship.

The photographers featured are Edward Weston; Brett Weston; Kim Weston, son of Cole Weston (Brett’s brother); and Zach Weston, Kim’s son and a budding photographer.

“In one section of the exhibit, all four generations are put together,” Kim says. “We mixed it up. That’s pretty unusual. Galleries don’t do that.” read more at Monterey County Weekly

 

 

How ‘Moonrise, Hernandez’ Came to Be One of the Iconic Photographs of the 20th Century

Driving back to Santa Fe, New Mexico on October 31, 1941, after what had been a disappointing day for picture-taking, photographer Ansel Adams (1902-84) brought his car to an abrupt stop, yelling to his companions to bring him his tripod, exposure meter and other photographic equipment so that he could take what would become one of the most famous images in fine art photography, “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.”

The picture has three separate elements: the town of Hernandez in the foreground, a rim of clouds illuminated on the horizon by the setting sun and the glowing moon alone in the dark sky above.

Adams knew it was a great picture, but “he was never completely satisfied with the prints he was making,” according to his grandson Matthew Adams, and so the photographer tinkered with them in the darkroom, producing more than 900 prints over the course of 40 years. “In 1948, he bathed part of the negative in a chemical intensifier in order to create more contrast in the foreground and to make the moon brighter. Before that, things had looked a little flatter.” Over the years, the prints also became larger, moving from 16″ x 20″ or smaller up to 40″ x 60″. Ansel Adams himself said that, with all that tinkering and various alterations, “it is safe to say that no two prints are precisely the same.” read more at Huffington Post

Why You Can’t Miss the New Jackson Pollock & Ansel Adams Exhibits

1. This is the first appearance of Ansel Adams artwork at the Getty.
This exhibition is the first time Adams’ internationally recognized landscape photographs will be showcased at the Getty Museum. The showcase also honors Adams on the 30th anniversary of his passing.

2. Adams himself curated a collection of his best work.
The Getty Museum’s recent acquisition of Ansel Adams’ Museum Set was the inspiration for the exhibition. The collection offers an entirely new understanding of his work, since it was personally curated by Adams at the end of his career and includes only the images he considered his absolute best.

3. Museumgoers can see how Adams grew as an artist.   
Featured alongside the Museum Set, guests will also discover some of Adams’ earlier works. The juxtaposition of the two sets of photographs gives guests the opportunity to see how his distinct photography style evolved throughout his career.
Read more at http://la-confidential-magazine.com/the-latest/pursuits/postings/jackson-pollock-and-ansel-adams-exhibits-at-the-getty#zTvxmrRhK6vMp281.99

Lou’s Views: Pictures perfect Ansel Adams

When you think about Ansel Adams, the images likely to come to mind are his breathtaking Yosemite Park landscape photographs, where incredible depth of field and stark black and white give nature a timeless majesty.

Of course, these are the essential images that anchor the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art’s new show, “Ansel Adams,” (running through Aug. 3). It’s difficult to imagine an Adams show without them, and they’d be enough to satisfy anyone with a love of photography, nature or both. But his Yosemite photographs are just a part of what’s revealed here.

ae-canyon-de-chelley-pr-15col.jpg Above, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, 1942 (Photograph by Ansel Adams. Collection Center for Creative Photography. ©The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust )

Among the work that might surprise neophytes is “Grass and Pool: the Sierra Nevada, California, c. 1935,” which shows grass blades up close in… read more at Indianapolis Business Journal

Ansel Adams – a Lifetime Portfolio Coming to the Eiteljorg Museum March 1

More than 80 images represent the best of Adams’ prolific career.

Indianapolis, Indiana (PRWEB) February 18, 2014

Tetons and Snake River, By Ansel Adams – available as a poster for $30.

Before he became known as the creator of some of the most influential photographs ever taken, Ansel Adams was a restless teenager with a simple Kodak camera. It was a 1916 family vacation in the Yosemite Valley that focused his inner lens, putting Ansel on the path that sealed his destiny. At Yosemite, he took snapshots of the majestic beauty of the landscape and found the inspiration that led him to introduce the world to photography as art. On March 1, 2014, the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, in Indianapolis, will open Ansel Adams – a collection of more than 80 of this legendary photographer’s personally-chosen photographs.

Featured images from The Museum Set
The photographs in Ansel Adams focus largely on the vast spaces of the American West, ranging from Yosemite to the Pacific Coast, the Southwest, Alaska, Hawaii and the Northwest. Referred to as The Museum Set, this lifetime portfolio includes many of Adams’ most famous and best-loved photographs, including architectural studies, portraits and magnificent landscapes. Film clips in the gallery will give perspective to the artist’s life, helping visitors understand how he worked and what inspired him. The images are joined by vintage prints from a private collection – including representations from Adams’ first published portfolios from the late 1920s.

Guest curator Jonathan Spaulding, Ph.D.
Ansel Adams was drawn together by guest curator, Jonathan Spaulding, Ph.D., whose 1995 book, Ansel Adams and the American Landscape, is considered the leading biography on the famed photographer and environmentalist. According to Spaulding, Adams legacy is more than a body of beautiful black-and-whites.

“Adams changed how we think and how we act,” writes Spaulding. “Across the arc of his life, one thing remained constant: to express through his art the forms and moods and ancient forces of our small planet, our only home in a vast universe.”

Ansel Adams special programming
The museum will host documentaries, programs, photography contests and lessons and lectures focused on Adams and his place in the environmental movement.

“In our 25 years as a cultural cornerstone in Indianapolis, one of the shows I hear people ask about again and again is Ansel Adams,” said Eiteljorg President and CEO, John Vanausdall. “When we brought this exhibit here, back in 2001, the lines ran outside the door. We’re happy to answer the community’s call to bring back Ansel for five months instead of two.”

Ansel Adams will be featured in the Eiteljorg’s main exhibition hall until Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. The Eiteljorg hopes this exhibit will leave a lasting impression with visitors, educating them about Ansel’s impact on their lives.

“From the family pictures in your album at home, to the selfies you post on Facebook and Instagram, the influence of photography is everywhere you look,” said Eiteljorg vice president and chief curatorial officer, James Nottage. “This exhibit could inspire the next Ansel Adams, just like Yosemite inspired a teenager to change the world of photography nearly 100 years ago.”

In addition to Ansel Adams, the Eiteljorg Museum is hosting another stunning exhibition of black-and-white photography: Blake Little: Photographs from the Gay Rodeo.

The Eiteljorg 25th anniversary is presented by Oxford Financial. Ansel Adams is co-presented by Capitol Group and Eli Lilly and Co.

Ansel Adams opening weekend schedule
Friday, Feb. 28, 2014
6 p.m.
Ansel Adams preview party
$45 members, $55 nonmembers

Saturday, Mar. 1, 2014
1:30 p.m.
A Conversation with curator Jonathan Spaulding
Join curator Jonathan Spaulding for a behind-the-scenes discussion of Ansel Adams’ life and work.

About the Eiteljorg
The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western art seeks to inspire an appreciation and understanding of the art, history and cultures of the American West and the indigenous peoples of North America. This year, the Eiteljorg celebrates 25 years of telling amazing stories. The museum’s 25thanniversary is presented by Oxford Financial Group. LTD. The Eiteljorg is located in Downtown Indianapolis’ White River State Park, at 500 West Washington, Indianapolis, IN 46204. For general information about the museum and to learn more about exhibits and events, call 317.636.WEST (9378) or visit http://www.eiteljorg.org.

Pineapple expressionism: Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams in Hawaii

Crater of Haleakala by Ansel Adams

Asked to name a state particularly associated with the painter Georgia O’Keeffe, most people would point without hesitation to New Mexico, and particularly to the high desert region surrounding her residences at Ghost Ranch and in Abiquiú. The same question about the photographer Ansel Adams would doubtless invite the response of California, thanks to his iconic images of the Yosemite Valley and other expanses of the Sierra Nevada range. But art lovers who look past their most famous images quickly discover that both artists roamed far from their signature locales. They created bodies of work relating to their separate visits to a region considerably more distant than what comes to mind as the American West, oeuvres that are explored in the exhibition opening at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum on Friday, Feb. 7: Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: The Hawaii Pictures.

The exhibition has been assembled by Theresa Papanikolas, curator of European and American art at the Honolulu Museum of Art, where it was on display for six months beginning last July. (The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog of the same title by Papanikolas and published by the museum.) Although the two artists were close friends from their first meeting in Taos, in 1929, until Adams’ death, in 1984, their visits to Hawaii did not overlap. O’Keeffe got there first, spending nine weeks in Hawaii in 1939 at the invitation of the Hawaiian Pineapple Company, which later evolved into the Dole Food Company. The corporation’s advertising firm, N.W. Ayer and Son, approached O’Keeffe about visiting the islands and painting canvases that might be used in the fruit company’s advertising. read more of this article

The Knoxville Museum of Art presents photographs by Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams, Dawn, Autumn Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, 1948, Gelatin silverprint on paper, Knoxville Museum of Art; Gift of Patricia and Alan Rutenberg and Mary Ellen and Steve Brewington, 2009. All images © The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust.

Ansel Adams, Dawn, Autumn Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee, 1948, Gelatin silverprint on paper, Knoxville Museum of Art; Gift of Patricia and Alan Rutenberg and Mary Ellen and Steve Brewington, 2009. All images © The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust.

KNOXVILLE – The Knoxville Museum of Art presents Sight and Feeling: Photographs by Ansel Adams January 31-May 4, 2014. This exhibition of 23 prints by Ansel Adams emphasizes the role of the artist’s intuitive and emotional response to the landscape in the creation of his powerful and enduring images. Also included in the KMA’s special presentation of this exhibition are three rare prints Adams made during his little-known visit to East Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains in 1948.

Adams is widely considered to be America’s greatest landscape photographer. His ability to create black and white photographs with a remarkable range and subtlety of tones is legendary. Yet for all Adams’ technical mastery, he recognized that what made a compelling photograph was far more elusive.

Few are aware that in 1948 Adams traveled to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park—his first and only recorded visit to Tennessee—in order take photographs as part of a Guggenheim Fellowship on America’s national parks and monuments. The resulting images represent an extensive and important artistic record of the Smokies approximately 14 years after the park was established.

Presenting sponsor for the exhibition, organized by the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, is Emerson Process Management with additional sponsorship from Kim and Stephen Rosen. KMA media sponsors include Digital Media Graphix, Kurt Zinser Design, and WBIR.

In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams

Decades ago, the legendary photographer trained his camera’s eye on the University of California campuses and took hundreds of shots of UCLA. Much has changed since then — and much has not.

Fifty years ago, a bearded man with a Hasselblad stood on UCLA’s North Campus, his camera pointed at the new sculpture garden and the unfinished arts building. Born in San Francisco and famous for his dramatic images of Yosemite, Ansel Adams was the natural choice for “Fiat Lux,” an ambitious project to chronicle the University of California system in photos.

He didn’t stay at UCLA very long. “I found that working in a certain campus, in four or five days I was through for the time. I just couldn’t ‘see’ anymore,” Adams told an interviewer. Instead, he “pogo-sticked” (his words) all over the state for four years.

In the end, Adams cataloged more than 200 negatives of UCLA dated between 1964 and 1967, with the bulk of the work in fall 1966. Most of the time he worked alone, relying on natural light and spending a lot of time on hillsides and tops of buildings.

California native Kevin Cooley also likes to work solo and takes rooftops in stride. He was fascinated to see architectural shots by Adams, instead of the more familiar nature photos. And Cooley enjoyed searching for Adams’ vantage points. All over campus he found people eager to help — intrigued by Adams’ images and interested to see how much the surroundings had changed.

Today, the buildings Adams chose to shoot may seem an odd selection. But he visited the campus in a time of phenomenal growth: During the four years of “Fiat Lux,” enrollment grew from about 20,000 to almost 27,000. So Adams focused on the new buildings sprouting everywhere, especially on North Campus, where Chancellor Franklin Murphy had just begun the outdoor sculpture collection that bears his name. read more