Ansel Adams (1902-1984) is celebrated as one of the world’s foremost landscape photographers. In May, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum at Washington University in St. Louis will present Ansel Adams: Reverence for Life, an exhibition of photographs showcasing works from the personal collections of the Adams family.
Reverence for Life is organized in conjunction with The International Symposium on Energy and Environment, sponsored by Washington University’s McDonnell International Scholars Academy. Speakers at the symposium, which runs May 4-7, will include Michael Adams, MD, Ansel Adams’s son and a 1967 alumnus of Washington University.
The exhibition is guest curated by Jeanne Falk Adams, Michael Adams’s wife. It includes approximately 60 original gelatin silver prints — many virtually unknown to the general public — which were printed by Adams himself. All works are drawn from the collection of Jeanne and Michael Adams, the Virginia Adams Trust and the Ansel Adams Gallery.
Divided into two sections — “Eloquent Light” and “Water” — Reverence for Life focuses on the role of water, and lack thereof, in shaping the natural landscape. The arid terrain of the American Southwest is contrasted with lush views of the California coastline as well as lakes and mountain streams ranging from Yellowstone and the Sierra Nevada to Adams’s beloved Yosemite National Park. Together, these works underscore the importance of the environment to Adams’s work, as well as the ways in which his photographs continue to raise awareness of pressing environmental issues such as water scarcity.
Also on view will be images of Adams at work and a 1944 portrait of Alfred Stieglitz, an early mentor to Adams. In addition, the exhibition will feature a short film that includes never-before-seen interview outtakes from the oral history Conversations with Ansel Adams as well as rare 1927 footage — shot by Virginia Best, then Ansel’s fiancé — showing Adams scaling the summit of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, on the way to making what would become one of his pivotal images, Monolith, the Face of Half Dome.
MILDRED LANE KEMPER ART MUSEUM
The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, part of Washington University’s Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, is committed to furthering critical thinking and visual literacy through a vital program of exhibitions, publications and accompanying events. The museum dates back to 1881, making it the oldest art museum west of the Mississippi River. Today it boasts one of the finest university collections in the United States.
Ansel Adams: Reverence for Life will open with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 11, and remain on view through July 16. The exhibition is free and open to the public. The Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum is located at the intersection of Skinker and Forsyth boulevards. Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The museum is closed Tuesdays. For more information, call (314) 935-4523 or visit kemperartmuseum.wustl.edu.
WHO: Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum
WHAT: Exhibition, Ansel Adams: Reverence for Life
WHEN: May 11 to July 16. Opening reception 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, May 11.
WHERE: Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, near the intersection of Forsyth and Skinker boulevards.
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Closed Tuesdays.
COST: Free and open to the public.
INFORMATION: (314) 935-4523 or email@example.com