Iconic Ansel Adams photos on display at Amon Carter Museum




Posted on June 16, 2010 at 8:58 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 16 at 9:42 PM

FORT WORTH — I have always been a fan of the photographs of Ansel Adams. We know he was an active environmentalist, but he also was an accomplished musician. He taught himself to play the piano at the age of 12, and you can hear his music and see his nature in every one of his photographs now on display at the Amon Carter Museum.

The exhibit features 40 black-and-white photographs from the lens and life of the nature photographer who lived, worked, and was even married in Yosemite National Park.

Adams was known as a generous artist who shared his knowledge with other photographers.

"He taught workshops in Yosemite from 1941 to about the 1970s, and was more than willing to share what he knew about photography, because this was a gift he had, and wanted to share with everybody else," said John Rohrbach, the museum's senior curator of photography.

Adams was a master at playing with the contrast between dark and light. His 1941 "Moonrise" photograph is perhaps his most famous example.

"He had had a terrible day of photographing along the Chama River in New Mexico, and was disgusted at the few attempts he had tried to make," Rohrbach said. "He was driving back to Santa Fe when he looks over his shoulder and this is what he sees."

Ansel Adams died in 1984 at the age of 82. Early in his career, sold an entire portfolio of exposures for $100. Today, a single Ansel Adams photograph fetches prices in the upper six-figures at auction.

This was a beloved artist who made music through his lens.

The "Ansel Adams: Eloquent Light" exhibit is on display through November 7 at the Amon Carter Museum. Admission is free.

E-mail gcogill@wfaa.com