Ansel Adams: Yosemite Valley

December 8, 2016–April 30, 2017

Gallery View: Ansel Adams: Yosemite Valley, New Britain Museum of American Art

Celebrating the National Park Service’s centennial year, this exhibition presents Portfolio III: Yosemite Valley, a series of 16 silver gelatin prints by American photographer Ansel Adams (1902­–1984). The works, dating from 1927 to 1960, depict the majestic beauty of Yosemite National Park, California, in Adams’s signature black-and-white style.

Born in San Francisco, Adams became known for his striking landscape photographs of the American West. In 1916, he visited Yosemite National Park with his family, and was given his first camera by his father. Photography and Yosemite would remain subjects of fascination for the remainder of Adams’s life.

In 1960, Portfolio III: Yosemite Valley was published by the Sierra Club, a renowned conservation organization of which Adams was a member for over 30 years. The artist served a vital role at the Club, assisting in effectively persuading the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service to declare numerous wilderness lands as National Parks, acting as the Club’s official trip photographer, and receiving numerous environmental awareness awards.

The prints presented in this exhibition highlight Adams’s interest in the aesthetic and scientific aspects of nature in their most grand and minute detail. These images had profound success in awakening many Americans to the purity of the nation’s natural regions and the importance of preserving them.