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Indepth Arts News:

"Ansel Adams and His Legacy"
2003-08-30 until 2003-10-26
High Museum
Atlanta, GA, USA

After a two-month closing to allow for expansion construction and restoration of the Museum's facilities, the High Museum of Art will open its fall season with a special exhibition entitled "Ansel Adams and His Legacy featuring Classic Images from the Ansel Adams Archive." The core of the exhibition, organized by the Center for Creative Photography (CCP) at the University of Arizona, is a selection of eighty-one master prints of seventy of Adams' best-known images. These photographs are among Adams' most famous and best-loved works, and encompass the entire scope of his work-elegant details of nature, architectural studies, portraits, and magnificent landscapes. "Ansel Adams and his Legacy" is organized by the High Museum of Art. "Classic Images" is organized by the Center for Creative Photography, the University of Arizona. Support has been provided by Global Payments, Inc.

In addition to the "Classic Images" collection, this exhibition will focus on the important legacy of Ansel Adams' influence on the photographers that followed him. A selection of works in the section entitled "Ansel Adams and His Legacy" will feature photographs from the High's permanent collection and other local collections. Works by Harry Callahan, Eliot Porter, and Robert Glenn Ketchum will be featured, all of which were dramatically influenced by Adams and followed in his tradition. In contrast, other photographers who consciously diverged against Adams' approach will be presented alongside Adams' work, including Richard Misrach, Robert Adams, Mark Klett, and Thomas Struth.  

Although previous selections of Adams' photographic masterpieces have been presented during the past two decades at the High Museum, this is the first exhibition to emphasize how Adams changed his interpretation and printing of many works during the period from the 1920s through the 1970s. One example is the photograph entitled "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941." Visitors will see how this singular image is represented by three different prints, ranging from an 11" x 14" to a dramatic mural size, while emphasizing variations in contrast between each of the prints.

Curator of Photography for the High Museum of Art, Thomas W. Southall explains what sets this exhibition apart from previous showings of Adams' work: "The exhibition will feature the truly impressive accomplishments of Adams as an artist, environmentalist, and promoter of photography." He continues, "We hope that this exhibition will help our visitors to understand both the power and complexities of photography as a creative medium and provide a broad overview of the impact of a creative giant like Adams. Through highlighting works from various collections, including the High, we hope to show his relevance beyond his career and the medium of photography."

A distinctive feature of this exhibition will be the exploration of Adams' multi-faceted career, through the presentation of his commercial works, color photographs, out-of-print books, and related memorabilia. These items will help take viewers beyond his masterpieces, to illustrate the large impact Adams made, not only on the world of photography, but also the environmental movement. This exhibition will also take advantage of the ongoing restoration of the Richard Meier designed building at the High Museum of Art, through use of the light-filled atrium galleries and the re-opened skylights on the fourth floor. Visitors will have a unique opportunity to enjoy the exhibition through newly designed reading/study/education areas in the galleries. This exhibit will run concurrently with "A Matter of Time: Edward Hopper from the Whitney Museum of American Art" on the fourth floor of the Museum.

About the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona

Founded in 1975 by photographer Ansel Adams and then-University of Arizona President John P. Schaefer, The Center for Creative Photography (CCP) at the University of Arizona is an archive, museum, and research institution and is dedicated to photography as an art form and cultural record. CCP holds more archives and individual works by 20th-century North American photographers than any other museum in the nation, including the archives of over sixty major photographers- Ansel Adams, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Richard Avedon, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, W. Eugene Smith, and Edward Weston among them-whose prints are the centerpiece of an art collection numbering more than 60,000 works by 2,000 photographers. CCP has an integrated program of preservation, access, and education that celebrates the history of photography and its contemporary practice.

Ansel Adams,
Evening Clouds and Pool,
East Side of the Sierra Nevada,
from the Owens Valley, California,
ca. 1962,
Copyright Trustees of the Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust,
Collection Center for Creative Photography, the University of Arizona.

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