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Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984



  • Existence: 1902 - 1984

Biographical statement

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was a landscape photographer and environmentalist in the western United States.

Ansel Adams was born on February 20, 1902 in San Francisco, California to Charles Hitchcock Adams and Olive Bray. He was schooled mostly at home growing up, which gave him the opportunity to spend frequent time in nature, including Yosemite, and develop a passion for it. This played a critical part in leading to his eventual interest and success in photography focused principally on Western landcsapes. Other influences between years 1919 and 1930 such as the Sierra Club and arts patron Albert M. Bender contributed to his early success. Through the Sierra Club, he met Virginia Best and they were married in 1928. They had two children, Michael and Anne. As a rising photographer, Adams was influenced by Paul Strand to shift to the style of straight photography, of which he soon became a master. In 1932, together with Edward Weston, Adams formed Group f/64, which brought their new West Coast vision of straight photography to national attention. Adams was also greatly influenced by his friendship with photographer Alfred Stieglitz during the 1930s and 1940s, which contributed to his growing recognition. Adams was renowned for his technical mastery and promotion of photography as a fine art; he published several technical manuals on photography and dozens of other influential photography books, helped secure photography's institutional legitimacy, and developed techniques such as the Zone System, which is still used today. He was a persistent activist on behalf of wilderness and the environment, and his photographs of national parks became symbols of wild America, playing a key part in preserving America's wilderness for future generations. His work and advocacy helped with the expansion of the National Park system, and he consequently received a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980. Adams died April 22, 1984 in Monterey, California.

Ansel Adams Gallery, via WWW, Aug. 2019 (born Feb 20, 1902 in San Francisco, CA to Charles Hitchcock Adams and Olive Bray; homeschooled, spent time in nature growing up; other influences such as Sierra Club and Albert M. Bender contributed to his success as an early photographer; met wife Virginia Best through Sierra Club; married in 1928; influenced by Paul Strand to pursue straight photography; formed Group f/64 with Edward Weston which brought their West Coast vision of straight photography to national attention; influenced by Alfred Stieglitz; renowned for technical mastery and for promoting photography as a fine art; published technical manuals and other books related to photography; developed Zone System which is still used today; activist on behalf of the environment; photographs became symbols of America's wilderness and played a role in the preservation of wilderness and conservation through national parks)

Wikipedia, via WWW, Aug. 2019 (children Michael and Anne; died April 22, 1984 in Monterey, CA; role in promoting photography and establishing its institutional legitimacy; Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980 for working and advocating that led to expansion of National Park system)

Found in 2 Collections and/or Records:

Ansel Adams photographs

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSS P 379
Scope and Contents

Collection includes ten photographs by Ansel Adams of Western scenery, taken between 1936 and 1959.

Dates: 1936-1959

Mormon temple, Manti Utah

 Item — Oversize-folder 1: [Barcode: 31197239280586]
Identifier: MSS 9234
Scope and Contents

A black-and-white gelatin silver photograph titled, "Mormon Temple, Manti Utah" by Ansel Adams. The back of the photograph identifies it as "Print no. 4 of set no. 24 of Portfolio One by Ansel Adams, 1948."

Dates: 1948