Object Record

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Artist Adams, Ansel (American,1902-1984)
Title Cathedral Spires and Rocks, Late Afternoon, Yosemite National Park, CA
Date 1949 (printed 1992)
Medium Photograph
Material Paper
Technique Gelatin silver print
Height (in) 7.5
Width (in) 9.5
Credit line Varies-see individual records
Notes Considered the most important photographer of his time, Adams once had plans to become a concert pianist. However, he changed his mind after he viewed some negatives of the photographer Paul Strand. Adams was not only a musician but also a teacher, scientist, advocate, writer and conservationist. His prolific body of work spans a career in commercial illustration, architectural studies, portraiture, and his extensive studies of the environment, which have brought him worldwide recognition.

Adams was instrumental in the formation of the Department of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the first college of photography at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco. He also helped found the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona in Tucson. When he developed the Zone System for controlling the tonal range of a negative, amateur and professional photographers alike were finally able to have a significant measure of control over the traits of the black and white film.

This celebrated American photographer captured nature’s most intimate details in his small and grand studies alike of Yosemite National Park, the Big Sur Coast, the Sierra Nevada, the American Southwest and America’s National Parks. His dramatic black and white photographs of his view of America’s wilderness remain extremely popular today.
Object ID 2017.07.42
Object Type Photograph