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Ansel Adams and Clyde Butcher

January 29 - April 10, 2005


(above: Ansel Adams (American 1902 - 1984), Roots, Foster Gardens, Honolulu, T.H. 1948, geletin silver print. © 2004 by the Trustees of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. Courtesy of George Eastman House)


Legendary photographer Ansel Adams is commemorated in the Ansel Adams: Celebration of Genius exhibition at The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Jan. 29 - April 10, 2005. The Ansel Adams: A Documentary Film by American Experience will run throughout the exhibition offering insights into Adams's photography, conservation of the American landscape and American history. The similar yet strikingly contrasting photographs of award-winning Clyde Butcher combine with the Ansel Adams collection to create a dynamic exhibition.

Ansel Adams is among few photographers in history whose name and work enjoys worldwide recognition. His stunning landscapes and intimate still lifes continue to captivate viewers. While many know his work through widely published books, postcards, posters, and calendars, relatively few have actually seen his lushly printed original images. To do so is to see the genius in both his craft of printing and his artful composition. This exhibition honors the man and celebrates that genius.

Inspired by the 100th anniversary of Adams's birth in 2002, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film revisited its extensive collection of Adams's work, creating this new exhibition of 150 photographs that reflects his full career.

The exhibition presents work from the 1920s through the 1960s, including an early 1927 portfolio of rare Parmelian prints (gelatin silver emulsion on parchment paper unique to Adams's work) and features many of Adams's most beloved images of the American West, such as Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941 or Mount Williamson from Manzanar, Calif., ca. 1944. Also included are equally stupendous (if less well-known) images such as Mud Hills, Arizona or Water and Foam, and the wonderful abstract titled simply, Stained Wallpaper Near Alturas, Calif. Adams did not confine himself to landscapes, but made portraits and other subjects as humble as fence posts into images nearly as monumental as his beloved mountain ranges.

Showing concurrently with the Ansel Adams exhibition is Florida favorite and nationally acclaimed photographer Clyde Butcher. Motivated to seek solace when his son was killed by a drunk driver, Clyde retreated to the wild Florida Everglades where his passion of photography developed into a life-long mission to preserve this environment, proving that out of tragedy magnificence is sometimes born. (left: Clyde Butcher, Dunes, © 1983 Clyde Butcher)

"These two artists share a passion for conserving the beautiful natural landscapes that they photograph and have been instrumental in furthering conservation causes," said Ringling Associate Curator Joanna Weber. "Although black and white photography is the medium they share, the scale of their images differs drastically. Ansel Adams's work is astonishingly small while Cylde Butcher's work is quite large. You've seen the calendars now come see the real thing!" (right: Clyde Butcher, Gaskin Bay #5, © 1998 Clyde Butcher)


Exhibition lectures:

The ViewPoints lecture, Ansel Adams and the American Western Landscape Tradition, will be presented by Dr. Jadviga da Costa Nunes on Saturday, February 19, 2005, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, Cook Theatre.
The Spotlight series lecture, The Ideal, The Real, and the Elusive: Alternative Approaches to Landscape will be presented by Dr. Daphne Rosenzweig on Friday, February11, 2005, 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. in the Lobby of the Museum of Art.
Clyde Butcher will present a special lecture, Seeing the Light: A Retrospective on the Life and Work of Clyde Butcher and book signing on April 2, 2005, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m. at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts, Cook Theatre.

Editor's note: RL readers may also enjoy:

these additional articles and essays concerning Ansel Adams

these additional articles concerning Clyde Butcher (right: Clyde Butcher, Moonrise, © 1986 Clyde Butcher)

and these additional articles and essays concerning American photography

Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art in Resource Library.

Visit the Table of Contents for Resource Library for thousands of articles and essays on American art, calendars, and much more.

Copyright 2003, 2004 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.