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Ansel Adams: A Legacy
August 25 - November 19, 2006
The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art at Ligonier Valley is pleased to be hosting an exhibition of one of America's most beloved and highly-regarded photographers. Opening August 25 at the Museum will be Ansel Adams: A Legacy, a comprehensive survey of Adams' artistic career. The exhibition, which will be on view through November 19, features 55 landscape, nature, portrait and architectural photographs.
Ansel Adams: A Legacy is intended to demonstrate and commemorate the artist's life work. The photographs in the exhibition span his career and represent the multi-dimensional nature of his artistic vision. Among the images are dramatic vistas of Yosemite Valley and the American Southwest, portraits of Georgia O'Keeffe and others, intimate close-ups of nature, and architectural views. Adams' printing style changed over time, culminating in these late-career images which feature stronger contrast and tones. Adams intended these "legacy" prints to represent his life's work as a panorama of the possibilities of the "straight," un-manipulated style to which he adhered. The photographs in the exhibition are owned by Lynn and Tom Meredith, residents of Austin, Texas, and alumni of Saint Francis University. They acquired the works in 2002.
Adams (1902-1984) was a master of creating visually unforgettable images of unspoiled nature in spectacular places. He also was lauded for his mastery of the technical challenges of black and white printing. Adams, who studied in his youth to be a concert pianist, believed that printing a negative was like the dynamic of an orchestra playing a symphony. The score is always the same, but the interpretation of it changes with each performance. Adams was, however, more interested in the expressive power of a photograph than in its technical perfection.
"Ansel Adams is known as one of the great masters of photography, and with good reason," said Dr. Graziella Marchicelli, SAMA Fine Arts Curator. "He presented nature and the very tangible world of man in an awe-inspiring and transcendent manner by giving voice to the ordinary, as in the image, Moon and Rocks, Joshua Tree, National Monument, California. Adams' innovative perspective in his compositions, combined with his legendary technical brilliance, transformed an ordinary scene into a luminescent, poetic and eternal object. The power of Adams' photographs drew from those grand aspects of the landscape that were already a part of American consciousness."
(above: Ansel Adams, Moon and Rocks, Joshua Tree, National Monument, California, 1948. Collection of Lynn and Tom Meredith. Courtesy of Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. © Trustees of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust)
All the photographs in the exhibition are originally from the collection of The Friends of Photography, one of several organizations Adams helped create to promote the acceptance of photography as an art. This exhibition has been shown across the U.S. and abroad between 1997 and 2001. The appearance of the Meredith's collection at the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art will be an exclusive showing for the commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The Museum will hold an opening reception on Saturday, September 16. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres will be served. Reservations are required by September 12 and can be made by calling the Museum at (724) 238-6015.
(above: Ansel Adams, Saguaro Cactus, Arizona, 1942. Collection of Lynn and Tom Meredith. Courtesy of Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. © Trustees of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust)
(above: Ansel Adams, Dunes, Oceano, California, 1963.
Collection of Lynn and Tom Meredith. Courtesy of Center for Creative Photography,
University of Arizona. © Trustees of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights
Editor's note: RL readers may also enjoy these additional articles and essays concerning Ansel Adams and American photography:
more articles on American photography:
and these videos:
Ansel Adams is a 100 minute 2002 American Experience PBS Home Video directed by Ric Burns and Narrated by David Ogden Stiers. From Warner Home Video. Ansel Adams's photographs have made him one of the most recognized and admired names in art. A staunch environmentalist, the pictures that Adams took reflected a larger world view the photographer held to strongly.
Ansel Adams, Photographer 60 minutes "This film captures the spirit and artistry of the man as he talks about his life and demonstrates the techniques that have made his work legendary. As Adams talks of the country he loves, viewers glimpse his photographs juxtaposed with the landscapes he photographed. In a conversation with artist Georgia O'Keeffe, Adams discusses his association with her husband, pioneer photographer Alfred Steiglitz." "Outlines the long and prolific career of American photographer Ansel Adams (1902-1984) as an artist, conservationist, and teacher. Follows him to the locations of his most famous photographs, including Yosemite."  By John Huszar. 1986 (available through Las Positas College Library)
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