An exhibition of work by American photographer Ansel Adams, best known for his black-and-white images of nature, will be displayed at the Upcountry History Museum – Furman University from Feb. 18 to June 4.
The exhibition, "Ansel Adams: Distance and Detail," is composed of 29 photographs, with images that include dunes, lakes, trees, surf crashing on rocks, storms, sunsets and sunrises.
Adams (1902-1984) also was an environmentalist, writer and lecturer. He was known for his technical mastery of photography. He published eight portfolios from 1927 to 1976 of his original prints and 10 volumes of technical manuals. He also wrote more than 40 books.
Adams was born in San Francisco and from a very young age he was drawn to nature, although at one point he was focused on becoming a musician. But that changed when his father gave him a camera — a Kodak Brownie box — during a family vacation to Yosemite National Park in 1916. Adams’ love for the environment eventually became the subject of his work and photographs.
At 17, he worked as a summer intern in Yosemite Park with the Sierra Club, which is dedicated to preserving the natural wonders of the world. Adams created iconic images of the Yosemite landscape and other parts of the American West, including national parks and Native American reservations.
While known for his black-and-white images, he also experimented with color with works ranging from portraits to landscapes to architecture. But experts on Adams say that he felt color could be distracting and divert an artist from achieving the full potential when taking a photograph.
His first solo museum exhibition — at the Smithsonian Institute in 1931 and featuring 60 prints taken in the High Sierra — elicited an excellent review from The Washington Post: “His photographs are like portraits of the giant peaks, which seem to be inhabited by mythical gods.”