Fine Arts Museum News

Ansel Adams Exhibition

Michele & Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts

October 4, 2006

Dramatic black and white photographs of the western landscape will be on view at the Museum of Fine Arts from October 24-December 17 in the exhibition Ansel Adams: The Man Who Captured the Earth's Beauty.

Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California
Negative date 1941, print date 1980
Photograph by Ansel Adams
© 2006 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust
Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California
Negative date 1941, print date 1980
Photograph by Ansel Adams
© 2006 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust
The Springfield showing of the exhibit is sponsored by Big Y World Class Market and Cooley Shrair Counselors at Law.

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was born in San Francisco and took his first photograph with a Kodak Brownie box camera in Yosemite Valley when he was 14 years old. Although he trained as a concert pianist until he was 25, he also studied photography and by 1930 made it his career.

As a young mountaineer, Ansel Adams discovered the natural beauty of the American West landscape. Specializing in photos of the western landscape, he became recognized as an effective conservationist and served as a member of the Sierra Club board of directors from 1934-1971. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Carter in 1980 for his conservation work.

As a romantic artist, he saw the great expanses of wilderness as a metaphor for freedom and heroism. His skill as a writer and teacher had a tremendous impact on the history of creative photography. For nearly 30 years, he conducted annual photography workshops, first in Yosemite National Park and later closer to his home in the Carmel Highlands of California. He was also a key figure in the founding of the departments of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

Highlights of the exhibit include Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico; Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California; and Sand Bar, Rio Grande, Big Bend National Park, Texas. Thanks to Adams' technical virtuosity and sensitive eye, these dramatic images remain profound reminders of his reverence for the beauty of the earth.

The photographs in the exhibition were published by the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust in 1980 and 1981 from vintage negatives. Ansel Adams: The Man Who Captured the Earth's Beauty. is on a 14-city national tour which was organized by the Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is managed by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services in Kansas City, Missouri.
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