Although well known for his photography of the great American national parks such as Yellowstone, Ansel Adams also has a strong connection to Arizona.  He was one of the founders of the University of Arizona’s Center for Creative Photography, one of the largest archives of Adams’ work;  he was often published in Arizona Highways magazine; and he often photographed the wonders of Arizona from the San Xavier Mission near Tucson to the Grand Canyon and Canyon de Chelly.

Photo of the Phoenix Art Museum sign

The Phoenix Art Museum, in collaboration with the Center for Creative Photography, is presenting an exhibit of Ansel Adams’ photography entitled “Ansel Adams: Discoveries.”  The exhibit features 120 photographs spanning the lifetime of Adams as well as documents from his personal archives.

Photo of the Ansel Adams exhibit at the Phoenix Art Museum

Adams is best known for his sweeping landscape photography.  But this exhibit highlights his work in the architectural photography realm as well as some portraiture he did during his career in addition to his well known nature and landscape work.  It traces his relationship with Arizona Highways magazine and Eastman Kodak as well.  But more than that, it presents Adams’ personal photography philosophies such as his concept of careful seeing – observing the subject in careful detail and truly seeing all that it had to present – as well as his struggles with and ideas on working with color photography.

This is a very well done exhibit of the full spectrum of Ansel Adams’ work and life.  It runs at the Phoenix Art Museum until June 6, 2010.  Admission to the museum is $10 for adults.  But if you go on a Wednesday nights from 3 pm to 9 pm it is free.

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