Ansel Adams

Episode 15:  On this episode, I talked with Curator, Allison Slaby of Reynolda House Museum of American Art in Winston Salem, NC. We talked all about the Ansel Adams exhibition as well as an upcoming exhibition she created on Grant Wood and the American Farm.

Ansel Adams exhibit gets record breaking attendance

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Ansel Adams (1902-84), perhaps the best-known photographer in American history, developed a system for creating luminous, vivid landscape photographs in sharp contrasts of black and white. He then printed his film negatives with meticulous attention to craft.  Adams’s manner of framing and capturing both magnificent, large-scale landscape formations, and small, exquisite natural objects created icons of the American wilderness.

 

Mount Denali and Wonder Lake, Denali National Park, Alaska, 1948

Ansel Adams (1902-1984); Sunrise, Mount McKinley, Mount McKinley National Park, Alaska; 1948; Gelatin silver print; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas; P1969.26

Adams subscribed to the romantic tradition of American landscape, an artistic lineage that included major American painters—including Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, and Albert Bierstadt —whose work anchors the collection of Reynolda House Museum of American Art. 

Adams took his first photos with a Kodak Brownie camera at age 14 during a family vacation to Yosemite National Park, and he would return to Yosemite regularly throughout his life. An early and passionate environmentalist as well as an artist, Adams advocated powerfully for wilderness preservation, national park creation, and the Sierra Club, with which he was affiliated from the age of 17.  His goal was “to rekindle an appreciation of the marvelous.” 

This exhibition’s debut in North Carolina coincides with the centennial of the National Park Service, which marks its 100th anniversary in August 2016. The National Parks Conservation Association has joined Reynolda House as the National Outreach Partner for the exhibition. During the exhibition season, Reynolda House will embark on a series of events and talks focused on themes of sustainability and preservation, highlighted by an Earth Day event co-presented by Wake Forest University.

 

Vernal Fall, Yosemite Valley, California, ca 1948

Ansel Adams (1902-1984); Vernal Fall, Yosemite Valley, California; ca. 1948, printed 1963; Gelatin silver print; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas; P1966.11.6

These forty breathtaking photographs by the renowned artist-photographer have never been on view together, and Reynolda House is the exhibition’s only venue.

This exhibition’s debut in North Carolina coincides with the centennial of the National Park Service, which marks its 100th anniversary in August 2016. The National Parks Conservation Association has joined Reynolda House as the National Outreach Partner for the exhibition. During the exhibition season, Reynolda House will embark on a series of events and talks focused on themes of sustainability and preservation, highlighted by an Earth Day event co-presented by Wake Forest University.

 

Moonrise Over Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941

Ansel Adams (1902-1984); Moonrise over Hernandez, N.M.; 1941, printed 1965; Gelatin silver print; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth Texas; P1965.41

Oak Tree, Snowstorm, Yosemite Valley, California, 1948

Ansel Adams (1902-1984); Oaktree, Snowstorm, Yosemite; 1948, printed ca. 1972; Gelatin silver print; Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Gift of Friends of Photography; P1972.43.2

Ansel Adams: Eloquent Light has been organized by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas.

 

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