Unexpected Landscapes: Photographs by Ted Orland

November 30, 2018 – January 5, 2019

If anything is true of Orland’s photographs, it is that they are unique in approach, constantly in flux, incomparable, and impossible to ignore. Evan Russell, Curator, The Ansel Adams Gallery

See all photographs by Ted Orland

Ted Orland is a California photographer and writer now living in Santa Cruz, California. His work is in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, Japan, the Amon Carter Museum, Dallas, Texas, and The Oakland Museum of California. The National Endowment for the Arts, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the National Park Service have each recognized and given support to his work and career.

Orland received a degree in Industrial Design from the University of Southern California in 1963; in 1966 he first visited Yosemite where he enrolled as a student in Ansel Adams’ Summer Workshop. By 1972 Orland had become Ansel’s top photographic assistant and right-hand man, during that time he also developed influential working relationships with program alumni David Bayles and Sally Mann.

His photography career began in a rather conventional manner, shooting in a similar fashion to Ansel Adams. As his own style evolved, Orland diverged from the lessons he had learned and moved from classic large-format landscape photography to hand-painted black and white photographs. This new method of working centered on a much wider range of subject matter. His current body of work relies on hints of satire, mythology and irony from and about his subjects, as well as cross-pollinating contemporary printing processes. These radically different techniques marry the new of digital printing with the old – the prints are veneered with hand-tinted oils more popular during Yosemite’s infancy in the 19th century. It is now known that Ted Orland took the first computer-based photographic images of Yosemite in the early 1980s and in accordance with his abilities, he became the first recipient of Yosemite National Park’s Artist-in-Residency program.

Opening at The Ansel Adams Gallery on November 30, 2018 “Unexpected Landscapes: Photographs by Ted Orland” will exhibit works from throughout the artist’s career, featuring images from Yosemite and locales farther afield. A reception for the artist will be held at the gallery on December 1st from 3-5 in the afternoon. We hope to see you there!

In Memory of Peter Hoss

November 29, 2018

Peter Hoss with Jeanne Falk Adams and her children Matthew and Sarah on the beach at Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park, circa 1972

Peter Hoss, a member of the Board of Directors of The Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite National Park, passed on November 29, 2018, in Monterey, California.

The Adams and Hoss families have been close friends since the 1920s, when Herman Hoss was the personnel director in Yosemite for the Yosemite Park and Curry Company and the Yosemite Magistrate. Della Hoss was an artist, Ansel Adams was photographing, and Virginia Best Adams was helping her artist father Harry Best in his Yosemite studio. In Yosemite, at the Lewis Memorial Hospital, Michael Adams was born in 1933 and Peter Hoss was born six months later in 1934; they have been close friends since infancy. Their wives and children have long been friends and all have artistic influences coursing through their veins. Peter and his family moved to Palo Alto during World War II, and later Peter and Michael were in the same class at Stanford. Peter received his law degree from Stanford Law School in 1958, ultimately settled in Salinas and practiced law with Noland, Hamerly, Etienne and Hoss. His love of Yosemite, where he was born, continued throughout his long, engaged life. Peter was passionate about justice and accountability and would go to great lengths to defend established rights. An example was his testifying before the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation July 9,2013 regarding Public Impacts of Closing Amenities in Yosemite.

All of us at The Ansel Adams Gallery who knew Peter will miss his insights, knowledge, friendship and presence. We all will continue to know and love his sons Martino (artist), Vincent (architect) and their families.

Jeanne Falk Adams, former President and General Manager of The Ansel Adams Gallery


Unearthing the Enigma of Moonrise

Original Mural of “Moonrise, Hernandez”

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico (1941). It is the image that almost didn’t occur. For fifty years, the dating of this fateful image remained in question.

It was approaching twilight on an autumn day in 1941. Ansel Adams and his companions were traveling by car, after an uneventful outing in the Chama Valley. The stormy skies had cleared over the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, with a ghostly gibbous moon rising above an old adobe church and graveyard in the approaching distance.

“We were sailing southward along the highway not far from Espanola when I glanced to the left and saw an extraordinary situation – an inevitable photograph! I almost ditched the car and rushed to set up my 8 x 10 camera. I had a clear visualization of the image I wanted, but I could not find my Weston exposure meter! The situation was desperate: the low sun was trailing the edge of clouds in the west, and shadow would soon dim the white crosses.”

Mural-sized enlargement of “Moonrise, Hernandez” next to the negative

Ansel Adams knew intuitively that “Moonrise, Hernandez” was an unusual photograph, but he had no idea that it would become his most popular single image. Original 16×20” gelatin silver prints that sold for $500 during his lifetime, now sell for over $50,000. Although he could remember some of the most minute details, Ansel admittedly neglected to record when his negatives were exposed, and this iconic and timeless image was often incorrectly dated.

“Because of my unfortunate disregard for the dates of my negatives I have caused considerable dismay among historians, students, and museums – to say nothing of the trouble it has caused me. Moonrise is a prime example of my anti-date complex. It has been listed as 1940, 1941, 1942 and even 1944. At the suggestion of Beaumont Newhall, Dr. David Elmore of the High Altitude Observatory at Boulder, Colorado, put a computer to work on the problem.”

Ansel Adams in front of his most famous image, “Moonrise, Hernandez”

In 1981, solar physicist David Elmore calculated the exposure day and time for “Moonrise, Hernandez” based on the position of the moon and the surrounding landscape. He concluded that it had been made on Halloween Day, October 31st, 1941 at 4:03 pm.  Although a harrowing effort, Elmore’s calculations were off by a day. His computer screen distorted the height to width ratio, and his location coordinates for the town of Hernandez were off.

Dennis di Cicco, an astronomer and former writer for Sky and Telescope magazine, pursued the enigma for ten years until he came up with a new date: November 1st, 1941 at exactly 4:49:20 pm Mountain Standard Time. Di Cicco discovered that “Adams had been at the edge of the old roadbed, about 50 feet west of the spot on the modern highway that Elmore had identified”. Visits to the site and modern computing software would aid in his calculation in 1991, fifty years after the making of Ansel’s historic photograph.  

Whether you’ve seen his photographs reproduced in a magazine or on exhibition at a museum, the images of Ansel Adams are so powerful, so perfect and true, that in our minds they supersede reality.”  – Joan Mondale

Ansel Adams’ “Moonrise, Hernandez” stands as one of the most famous and iconic photographic images in history. Ansel was a perfectionist in the creation of each individually hand-produced gelatin silver photograph, and his darkroom techniques were unparalleled in terms of skill and adeptness. Today, his original prints are as powerful and poignant as ever, and utterly Timeless.  

If you are interested in this image as an original 16 x 20″ print or an extremely rare mural-sized photograph, please contact us by email at originals@anseladams.com.  

Moonrise, Hernandez: Mysterious, Timeless and Iconic from The Ansel Adams Gallery on Vimeo.

A Continuing Legacy in Yosemite Romanticism New Oil Paintings by James McGrew

Our autumn exhibition, “A Continuing Legacy in Yosemite Romanticism – New Oil Paintings by James McGrew” embraces not only our own roots as one of the longest running businesses in any National Park, but we also pay homage to the role that art has held in the establishment and protection of our most revered public lands.

On Exhibit in Yosemite ‘Within Sight: The Road To Home” by Roman Loranc

When I first came to California, I became acquainted with the Merced National Wildlife Refuge in the Central Valley. Efforts were then being made to restore the wetlands that had once been prolific in that area but were being diminished at an alarming pace. Through my photography, I joined the conservation efforts to save these natural and wild places. I want to share my artistic vision with others to increase awareness of these pristine landscapes, which are precious resources meriting preservation.

On Exhibit in Yosemite – Intrepid Light: Photographs by Charles Cramer

Charles Cramer and Ansel Adams have a lot in common, both have called Central California home, and early in the arc of their careers, both pursued music as a profession. Ultimately though, both would be lured away by the artistic promise of photography.

Seeing is Believing – Penny Otwell

There is immensity to Yosemite that relates to both time and place – it pervades us here; it makes us feel humble. But there is also a romantic courtship that seems so genuine that, in spite of our diminutive status within these walls

Dogwood Blossoms – A New Modern Replica

dogwood blossoms by Ansel Adams

Dogwood Blossoms – A New Modern Replica

In Yosemite right now, the waterfalls are roaring and the showy Dogwoods are in bloom! A true harbinger of Spring, the blossoms emerge like constellations of stars against the bare forest backdrop.

With this intimate and quiet photograph, Ansel Adams brought forth the striking serenity of nature, as William Blake once wrote, “there can be a world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wildflower.”  Many of Adams’ images draw our attention to the beauty of the everyday through the close view of his camera. It’s been said that we only protect what we love, and we only love what we know.  Ansel Adams has helped us to know the natural world, and his images of the American landscape have inspired generations.

Ansel Adams made this image with a 5 inch by 7 inch view camera in 1938, the year he trekked through the high sierra with Edward Weston. To capture the 12 blossoms in this spectacular spray of dogwoods, he placed them atop a nearby rock covered with pine needles and lichen creating a very contemporary composition.

The Sierra Club published “Dogwood Blossoms” in 1960 after Ansel Adams selected it, along with 15 other images, for inclusion in Portfolio III, Yosemite Valley.  Later, Adams selected it for his Museum Set Collection, a retrospective portfolio of what he considered his strongest work. This striking image has been published in many books and catalogs and is one of his best-known photographs.

See this newly released Dogwood Blossoms Modern Replica, available in six sizes.