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Ansel Easton Adams
Ansel Easton Adams, an American photographer was born on February 20, 1902 in San Francisco, California. He was the only child of Olive and Charles Adams. In 1907 Grandfather Adams dies and the family lumber business fails. Charles Adams attempts to pay the debts of the business the rest of his life.
Ansel Adams was a curious and gifted child. He despised regular education and was taken out of school at age thirteen. For the rest of that school year, his father bought him a season pass to the Panama-Pacific Exposition. The Panama-Pacific Exposition was held to celebrate the construction of the Panama Canal and Adams visited the Exposition every day.
At the age of fourteen, Adams received his first camera from his parents. He then developed an interest in the National Park of Yosemite and photography. He returned to Yosemite every year for the rest of his life.
In 1917, he received his only earned degree, which was a grammar school diploma from the Mrs. Kate M. Wilkins Private School, located in San Francisco. He also began to work part time at Frank Dittman’s photo finishing business.
In 1922, his first article was published and his first photograph was reproduced. His best friend, Cedric Wright introduced him to the works of Elbert Hubbard and Edward Carpenter.
As a child, Adams had been taking piano lessons. As he became older he wanted to become a concert pianist and purchased a Mason and Hamlin grand piano, which was the finest available.
On January 2, 1928, at the age of 25, he marries Virginia Rose Best. In the same year his first one-person exhibition was held at Sierra Club, located in San Francisco. During his lifetime, his photographs would be included in more than 500 exhibitions.
In 1930, he became committed to a full-time career in photography, when he met Paul Strand. Strand was totally dedicated to creative photography. To further his career he built a studio and home in San Francisco, beside his parents’ house. He also began taking commercial photography assignments. Yosemite becomes one of his most frequent clients.
In 1932, Adams and other photographers of the American Landscape formed a society called Group f/64. The members of this group were devoted to taking straightforward photographs in sharp focus. In following years American photography was strongly influenced by this group.
At the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) Adams helped develop the first academic department that taught photography.
His books include My Camera in the National Park, This is the American Earth, Ansel Adams: Images 1923-1974, Photographs of the Southwest, Yosemite and the Range of Light, and a series of books on photographic techniques.
On April 22, 1984, Adams dies of heart failure, aggravated by cancer. His death was covered on all primary television networks and on front pages of most newspapers nationwide. A commemorative exhibition and memorial was held in Carmel. Ansel Adams wilderness area, which is more than 100, 000 acres between Yosemite National Park and the John Muir Wilderness Area was created in memory of him. Adams was unanimously elected as an honoree of the International Hall of Fame. On the first anniversary of his death, Mount Ansel Adams, a 11, 760 foot peak was officially named.
Hagen, Charles. “Ansel Adams.” The World Book Encyclopedia. 1988 ed.
“Ansel Adams.” Microsoft Encarta 1998 Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. Microsoft
“Ansel Adams: A Chronology.” April 9, 1999 < www.book.edu.aachron2s.html >.
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Sierra Club, Sierra Nevada, Yosemite National Park, Ansel Adams, Hypochondriacs, Cedric Wright, Ansel, Group f64, Adams, Rondal Partridge
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