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Phoenix Art Museum is the Exclusive Venue for Ansel Adams: Discoveries
Ansel Adams. Grand Tetons and Snake River , 1942. Ansel Adams Archive. 84.92.542. © The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. Collection Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona.

NEW YORK, NY.- Beginning January 31, 2010, Phoenix Art Museum exclusively presents Ansel Adams: Discoveries an unmatched exploration of the beloved photographer’s personal archives. Drawn from the Center for Creative Photography, this never-before-seen exhibition features 130 of Adams ’s most popular images and lesser known works, along with dozens of rare archival documents and materials that offer new insights into the master photographer’s celebrated career and iconic photos.

“What separates Ansel Adams: Discoveries from other Adams exhibitions is the richness of the materials mined from the Center for Creative Photography,” commented Rebecca Senf, Norton Family Curator of Photography, Phoenix Art Museum , and Adams scholar. “Visitors will leave in awe of the dramatic beauty of Adams ’s powerful photographs and with a deeper understanding of his artistic process, his varied production techniques and the charismatic personality behind the camera.”

Adams worked throughout his life to champion photography as an art form, culminating in the creation of the Center for Creative Photography, at the University of Arizona , in 1975. The Tucson institution houses Adams’s private collection of prints and papers, as well as video footage, personal correspondence, photographic equipment, proof prints, alternate views, negatives and portraits of the photographer. Due to a standing collaboration between Phoenix Art Museum and the Center for Creative Photography, the Museum will be the only institution to host this fascinating and rich exhibition.

“The Center for Creative Photography is among the most highly-respected photographic collections in the world and the only one to have such a personal relationship with Adams and his work,” commented James Ballinger, The Sybil Harrington Director, Phoenix Art Museum . “It is the Center’s unsurpassed connection to Adams that distinguishes this exhibition. We are thrilled to host a show of this magnitude as part of our landmark partnership with the Center for Creative Photography.”

Categorized into six aspects – time, place, medium, subject, theme and role – Ansel Adams: Discoveries highlights Adams ’s early work, his photographs of the American Southwest, his pictures of the National Parks project, his relatively unknown color photography, his architectural views and his teaching career. Exhibition highlights include:

- Works from Adams’ first portfolio, Parmelian Prints of the High Sierras, as well as his first photo album (1916) made following his first visit to Yosemite on family vacation.

- Photographs of New Mexican Indians from the late 1920s and southwestern landscapes, including Canyon de Chelly, San Xavier del Bac and Aspens, New Mexico.

- Adams’s masterpiece Moonrise, Hernandez , New Mexico , 1941, presented alongside the negative, Adams ’s printing notes and an alternate print that demonstrates the dramatic range of interpretations the photographer applied to his famous work.

- A range of images initially made as color film transparencies which replicate the vibrancy and luminosity of Adams ’s originals.

- Course descriptions, film footage, and photographs of participants that help convey the experience of Adams ’s workshops.

- Instructional manuals which demonstrate his dedication to sharing his knowledge of the medium.

“The historic material included in the Center’s archives profoundly enriches our understanding of the artwork allowing us to simultaneously show Adams’s masterpieces alongside unfamiliar works and provide new perspectives of each,” commented Senf.

Phoenix Art Museum | Ansel Adams | The Center for Creative Photography |

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