Ansel Adams
1902–1984

Introduction

Ansel Easton Adams (February 20, 1902 – April 22, 1984) was an American landscape photographer and environmentalist known for his black-and-white images of the American West. He helped found Group f/64, an association of photographers advocating "pure" photography which favored sharp focus and the use of the full tonal range of a photograph. He and Fred Archer developed a system of image-making called the Zone System, a method of achieving a desired final print through a technical understanding of how the tonal range of an image is the result of choices made in exposure, negative development, and printing.

Adams was a life-long advocate for environmental conservation, and his photographic practice was deeply entwined with this advocacy. At age 14, he was given his first camera during his first visit to Yosemite National Park. He developed his early photographic work as a member of the Sierra Club. He was later contracted with the United States Department of the Interior to make photographs of national parks. For his work and his persistent advocacy, which helped expand the National Park system, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980.

Adams was a key advisor in the founding and establishment of the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, an important landmark in securing photography's institutional legitimacy. He helped to stage that department's first photography exhibition, helped found the photography magazine Aperture, and co-founded the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona.

Wikidata identifier

Q60809

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Introduction

Adams began to photograph professionally in 1930, and in 1932 was a founding member of the f/64 group in San Francisco, California. In 1940 he created the photography department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, New York, along with Beaumont Newhall and David McAlpin. In 1941 Adams began to photograph landscapes. From 1942 to 1944 Adams acted as the photographic adviser to the United States Army. In 1962 Adams moved to Carmel, California where he founded the Friends of Photography in 1967. He continued to document the landscape of the American West. American photographer.

Country of birth

United States

Roles

Artist, musician, photographer

ULAN identifier

500026108

Names

Ansel Adams, Ansel Easton Adams

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Information from the Getty Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License. Accessed May 23, 2024.