Ansel Adams was born in San Francisco to businessman Charles Hitchcock Adams and Olive Bray in 1902. At the age of four, in 1906, the great earthquake of San Francisco tossed him to the ground; the fall resulted in a "badly broken nose" which marked him for the rest of his life according to illiam Turnage, writing in the ebsite www.AnselAdams.com. Adams did not do well in school but he was interested in music and found tremendous job in the natural world. In fact his love of nature was "nurtured" in the Golden Gate area and in the Yosemite Valley. His parents gave him a Kodak No. 1 Box Brownie, he joined the Sierra Club, and began spending a lot of time -- and taking photos -- in Yosemite.
He moved up to better cameras, and began getting recognition by the 1930s. He had his first showing…… [Read More]
Framing of these images is simple, which makes them even more stunning and arresting in real life. If the viewer has only seen some of Adams' work reproduced in posters and prints, these original photographs can be extremely impressive and magnetizing. Some of them seem larger than life, and they all show the incredible detail and lighting that mark all of Adams' work. It is difficult not to imagine how long the photographer waited to get just the right light, just the right angle, and just the right exposure to create these works of art, and it is hard to be inspired as you view these classic images of some of the most beautiful spots in America.
The exhibit calls Adams a "populist hero" who inspired others to enjoy and advocate for America's National Parks. Adams was always very open about his use of "Photogenia" in his photos, he manipulated…… [Read More]
Ansel Adams: An Analysis of the Importance of America's Most Popular Photographer
Of all the great black-and-white photographers, Ansel Adams was the blackest and the whitest. -- Kenneth Brower, 2002
Today, Ansel Adams is widely regarded as the most important landscape photographer of the 20th century, and is perhaps the most best known and beloved photographer in the history of the United States. As a firm testament to his talents and innovations, the popularity of his work has only increased over the years following his death in 1984 (Szarkowski 1-2). This photographer's most important work concerned the last remaining vestiges of untouched wilderness in the nation, particularly in the national parks and other protected areas of the American est; in addition, Adams was an early and outspoken leader of the conservation movement (Szarkowski 2). This paper provides an overview of Adams and his historical significance, followed by a discussion of…… [Read More]
Before making plans to personally visit the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, I spent an hour or so researching the museum, Mr. Getty, and some of the issues that this richest of all art museums had recently faced. The assignment calls for finding out what is available to see, and I also found out what was not available to see. One important statue that I would have liked to have viewed was the ancient Greek "goddess of love," Aphrodite, that that iconic statue had been repatriated back to Italy in 2011. My research also showed that the trend for museums that have antiquities on display is to return those art pieces to their rightful countries, if they were purchased from dealers who either stole them or bought them from thieves. In fact the Getty Museum has given back 47 pieces in the last few years (the…… [Read More]
Female Artists Who Worked in the American West
The subject of female artists working in the American West has often been overlooked due to pervasive Western male stereotypes. These stereotypical images include popular media overlays of cowboys, male hero icons and male activities. Yet, the environment of the American West has been the inspiration for many American female artists. One of these is the landscape photographer, Laura Gilpin. Gilpin's relation to the West and the connection of that particular landscape to her work is obvious from the following quotation:
What I consider really fine landscapes are very few and far between," Laura Gilpin wrote to a friend in 1956. "I consider this field one of the greatest challenges and it is the principal reason I live in the West. I am willing to drive many miles, expose a lot of film, wait untold hours, camp out to be somewhere at…… [Read More]
My immediate response to Burtynsky's work was to think that the artist had managed to find a relevant aesthetic response to the most serious issue of the twenty-first century, which is climate change. he difficulty with climate change is that it does not lend itself easily to artistic representation or commentary: any small child knows that slowly and painstakingly building up a castle made of Legos is not as exciting as destroying a Lego castle. Ecology can seem tedious and destruction can seem fun. Burtynsky's work sidesteps this difficulty because in some sense he is documenting the destruction.
his does not mean Burtynsky's work feels message-driven. In photographic work documenting the large-scale changes that human beings make on their physical environment, such as "Mines," "Quarries," and "Railcuts" (all of which are large enough to be actual geological phenomenon but are in fact manmade, and each of which is…… [Read More]