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The Ansel Adams Centennial


The Center for Creative Photography (CCP) at the University of Arizona will present The Ansel Adams Centennial, a pair of exhibitions on view from March 9 to July 7, 2002. Together they celebrate the 100th birthday of American photography's most recognized and beloved figure through his legendary images and fascinating life. (left: Monolith, the Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, 1927, Photograph by Ansel Adams, gelatin silver print, 48.5 x 36.6 cm, © Trustees of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, Collection Center for Creative Photography, the University of Arizona)

The Ansel Adams Centennial is drawn from the Ansel Adams Archive at CCP, the largest repository of his work in the world. The archive includes voluminous correspondence, book layouts and manuscripts, ledgers, periodicals and monographs, camera equipment, memorabilia, and over 20,000 negatives and proof prints. Approximately 2,500 exhibition prints crown the world's most extensive public holding of Adams' photographs.

Classic Images features an impressive array of photographs from the book of the same name, works chosen by Adams to represent his most enduring images and to stand as a last-statement portfolio of his remarkable life's work. Marcia Tiede, curator of Classic Images and CCP Curatorial Associate and Cataloger explains, "Classic Images was Ansel Adams' own assessment of his most significant images and reveals important insights into his creative process. It celebrates how stunning his photographs are, and the range of subjects and imagery -- including some lesser known works -- most valued by him at the end of his epic career." (right: Winnowing Grain, Taos Pueblo, New Mexico, ca. 1929, Photograph by Ansel Adams, gelatin silver print, 33.3 x 24.8 cm, © Trustees of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, Collection Center for Creative Photography, the University of Arizona)

A Portrait of Ansel Adams presents unique objects from his extraordinary archive, such as his 8 x 10" metal view camera, correspondence with some of the most important figures in the history of photography, and his first portfolio, Parmelian Prints of the High Sierras. Accompanying the objects will be dozens of portraits of Adams by artists such as Imogen Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, John Sexton, Jerry Uelsmann, Edward Weston, and Cedric Wright, who were his friends, students, and admirers -- portraits selected from the Ansel Adams Archive and other CCP collections. CCP Archivist Leslie Calmes selected the images and objects for A Portrait of Ansel Adams. "This selection exemplifies how the contents of a research archive can inform the art it documents. By looking at letters, manuscripts, books, magazines, and proof prints, the career of a photographer as famous and influential as Ansel Adams becomes even richer and more three-dimensional. In addition, with his collection of portraits, visitors can follow Adams' path from youthful amateur to acknowledged master of the medium he devoted his life to."

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Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

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