A Show of Ansel Adams’ Museum Set

People / Places / December 8, 2016

Ansel Adams must have taken thousands of photographs during his eight decades on earth.

But when it came time to select the very best, he hand-picked just 75. And soon, the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh will open an exhibition of 47 of them.

“They show an overview of his career – he took these photographs as when he was as young as 19 and the last one he was 66,” says Linda Dougherty, chief curator at NCMA. “You can see how his process and eye developed over that time span.”

Legend has it that his parents took 14-year-old Ansel to Yosemite National Park and gave him a camera. The rest is history. “He had an immediate connection to it and it changed his life,” she says.

Nature and the wilderness were his subjects and themes, with iconic images like Moonrise Hernandez New Mexico among them. Here’s how he described coming upon that scene in 1941 in Examples:

“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 8×10 camera…”

The man could write as well as shoot. And he left an distinct impact on photography as an art form, at a time when museums and schools did not consider having photography departments.

“He had an incredible influence on photography and on photographers who came after him in terms of technique and process, but also on the impact on the place of photography in the art world,” she says. “He changed the art world.”

His work displays a reverence for the natural world and the awe-inspiring beauty of the landscape. “He was not just documenting it but capturing the emotive power of an image,” she says.

The exhibition, including El Capitan and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, Golden Gate in San Francisco, Monument Valley in Arizona, and Snake River in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming opens on Feb. 4.

For more, go here.

Captions:

Image Captions

Ansel Adams, Mount Williamson, the Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California, 1945, gelatin-silver print, 15 3/8 x 18 1/4 in., Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding, Calif.; Imagecourtesy Collection Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona, © 2015
The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

Ansel Adams, Half Dome, Merced River, Winter, Yosemite National Park, California, circa 1938, gelatin-silver print, 14 3/4 x 19 ¼ in., Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding, Calif.; Image courtesy Collection Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona, ©
2015 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

Ansel Adams, Manly Beacon, Death Valley National Monument, California, circa 1952, gelatin-silver print, 15 3/8 x 19 ¼ in., Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding, Calif.; Image courtesy Collection Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona, © 2015
The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

Ansel Adams, White Mountain Range, Thunderclouds, from the Buttermilk Country, near Bishop, California, 1959, gelatin-silver print, 15 5/16 x 19 in., Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding, Calif.; Image courtesy Collection Center for Creative Photography, The University
of Arizona, © 2015 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

James Alinder, Ansel Adams, 1984, 20 1/2 x 19 3/8 in., Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding, Calif. Cedric Wright, Ansel Adams: Photographing in Yosemite, 1942, gelatin-silver print, Collection Center for Creative Photography, The University of Arizona, © 1942 Cedric Wright

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Michael Welton




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1 Comment

on April 7, 2017

[…] This famous photograph is one of the most famous and collectible of all time—with Sotheby’s auctioning a single print $609,600 (on October 17th , 2006).  Not nearly as famous is the story behind this photograph. In the words of Adams himself in Architects & Artisans: […]



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