Ansel Adams

June 12 — August 22, 2003


Ansel Adams: 100+1 pays homage to the centennial exhibition Ansel Adams at 100, curated by John Szarkowski, which travels to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City this summer. 100+1 presents photographs from throughout the artist's career, including his earliest work and some of his final images, as well as the mature masterpieces that defined his vision. Prints on display will vary in size from small format vintage photographs such as a 2 1/2 x 3 1/2 inch contact print of Lodgepole Pines, Yosemite National Park, 1921 to large scale works such as a 40 x 30 1/2 inch mural format print of Monolith, The Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, 1927. The exhibition will feature seminal images such as Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941; Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite, 1944; and Mount Williamson, Sierra Nevada from Manzanar, California, 1944. Also on display will be Adams's only series, Surf Sequence, and his first portfolio, Parmelian Prints of the High Sierras. Ansel Adams: 100+1 illuminates the life's work of a master photographer and his passion for the American landscape.

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was born in San Francisco, California. At age 14, Adams and his family visited Yosemite National Park and to mark the occasion, his parents gave him a camera. Enthralled by the glorious natural surroundings, he took his first photographs. In 1927, Adams published the portfolio Parmelian Prints of the High Sierras. In the early 1930s, Adams founded f/64, a collective of artists that took its name from the smallest aperture marking on large format camera lenses; members included Edward Weston and Imogen Cunningham. Adams is further credited with the development of the 'zone system' which maximizes tonal range in printing from black and white film. In 1936, Alfred Stieglitz presented one of Adams's earliest solo exhibitions at his New York City gallery, An American Place. Soon thereafter, Adams assisted Beaumont and Nancy Newhall in founding the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art. In addition to having a profound influence on fine art photography, he was also a strong defender of the environment and worked ardently for The Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society. Ansel Adams produced a body of work of unparalleled technical achievement in the photographic medium that has endured as a landmark artistic statement on the American West.

Andrea Stillman is a curator, author and editor who lives and works in New York City. She met Ansel in 1974 while working at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the Department of Prints and Photographs. After serving as the liaison to his first major retrospective exhibition at the museum, she moved to Carmel, California where she assisted him from 1974 to 1980. After Adams died in 1984, she continued to edit numerous books of his work, including The American Wilderness (Bulfinch Press, 1990), Yosemite and the High Sierra (Little, Brown & Company, 1994) and Ansel Adams in Color (Little, Brown & Company, 1993). She has lectured at major museums on Adams and has assembled several corporate collections of his work. She also produced a biographical film on his life for public television in 1980. She is one of the foremost authorities on the work of Ansel Adams.