Three of the most influential artists of the century, known even to those outside the art world have made a huge impact on how we see our world. Two of these artists work together and one alone.
Ansel Adams was a visionary figure in nature photography and wilderness preservation. He is seen as an environmental folk hero and a symbol of the American West, especially of Yosemite National Park. Adams' dedication to wilderness preservation, his commitment to the Sierra Club, and of course, his signature black-and-white photographs inspire an appreciation for natural beauty and a strong conservation ethic.
Adams was born in San Francisco, California in an upper-class family to Charles and Olive Adams. When he was four years old, he was tossed face-first into a garden wall in an aftershock from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, breaking his nose. His broken nose was never corrected and appeared crooked for his entire life.
Adams' father decided to pull Ansel out of school in 1915, at the age of 12. He was to be educated by private tutors and, with this, his father also arranged for him to take piano lessons and to learn Greek. From years of music his original passion was to become a concert pianist, but Adams became interested in photography after seeing Paul Strand's negatives.
At age 17, Adams joined the Sierra Club. He remained a member throughout his lifetime and served as a director, as did his wife, Virginia. It was at Half Dome in 1927 that he first found that he could make photographs that were, in his own words, "...an austere and blazing poetry of the real". Adams became an environmentalist, and his photographs are a record of what many of these national parks were like before human intervention and travel. His work promoted many of the goals of the Sierra Club and brought environmental issues to light.
Adams’ style is simple and powerful. Almost all of his photographs are in black and white, the lack...