“Ansel Adams:  Classic Images”
February 18-May 13, 2007

2002 N. Main St. Santa Ana, CA 92706
Diane Pinnick, Director of Public Relations & Marketing
Tel: 714-567-3642 / Fax: 714-567-3633
Web site:

Georgia O’Keeffe and Orville Cox, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, 1937
Ansel Adams:  Classic Images
Photograph by Ansel Adams
©2006 Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

Bowers Museum Presents “Ansel Adams:  Classic Images”
These 75 Images Were Chosen by Adams as the Finest Examples of His Artistic Achievements

(SANTA ANA, Calif.)  ”Ansel Adams: Classic Images,” 75 images chosen by Adams as the finest examples of the quality and range of his photographic achievements, comes to Orange County for the first time on Feb. 18, 2007 as part of the grand opening of the new Dorothy and Donald Kennedy Wing of Bowers Museum.  It premieres at Bowers Museum on an auspicious date: Chinese New Year, Feb. 18, 2007, the year of the Pig (a sign of wealth and affluence) along with “Treasures from Shanghai: 5000 Years of Chinese Art and Culture.”
 It will remain through May 13, 2007 and is shown in the new Anderson-Hsu-Tu Gallery.  “Ansel Adams:  Classic Images” appears through the generosity of The Capital Group Foundation.

In a career that spanned more than five decades, Ansel Adams is one of America’s most beloved landscape photographers and one of its more respected environmentalists. “Ansel Adams: Classic Images” features awe inspiring images—many of Adams’ most famous photographs. These works predominantly note elegant details of nature and magnificent landscapes for which he is so revered but also feature dynamic portraits of the celebrated and the common man. The exhibit portrays the artist’s power and mastery over the medium of photography, his feeling for light, passion for beauty and his concept of visualization. These are black and white images of genius that evoke a range of feelings in the audience.

Many of his photographs record the national parks before an influx of human travel and intervention. An ardent member of the Sierra Club, many of his works promoted their goals and helped to bring environmental issues to light.

Adams named this collection “The Museum Set,” an aggressive claim for the artistic dignity of his photography.  He, with Beaumont Newhall and David McAlpin founded the department of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.  Adams was a relentless and articulate spokesman for photography and the struggle for its artistic recognition was another significant part of his life.

Created during the later years of his life, the prints of “Ansel Adams:  Classic Images” show, what the artist referred to as, “maximum impact.”  They are stronger in contrast, much larger and more technically perfected to bring about a brilliance that resonates tonally.  According to Adams, “The more recent prints are less timid.” He goes on to say that his earlier works are “softer, some think more subtle.  I have sharply different vision now. The results are, perhaps, more dramatic.”  He contributes this to becoming more confident and better at getting what he wanted.

“Classic Images” includes several from Yosemite and Sequoia national parks including his famous landscape “Monolith, the Face of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, California, 1927,” and the details of nature found in “Juniper Tree Detail, Sequoia National Park, California, c. 1927.”    It also includes images on the Pacific Coast, the Southwest, Alaska, Hawaii and the Northwest.  Among them is the portrait “Georgia O’Keeffe and Orville Cox, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, 1937,” the writhing “Sand Dunes, Oceano, California, c. 1950,” and the intriguing shadow of the artist in “Self Portrait, Monument Valley, Utah, 1958.”

“Ansel Adams:  Classic Images” illustrates the breadth of how the artist wanted to capture America and it is a collection of how he represented the best of his own life’s work.

This is one of three spectacular exhibits (the others are “Treasures from Shanghai: 5000 Years of Chinese Art and Culture” and “Mummies: Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt…Treasures from The British Museum”) that are a part of the celebration and grand opening of the new state-of-the-art Dorothy and Donald Kennedy Wing, which doubles the museum’s exhibition space.  Visit <> for additional information.

One of Southern California’s finest museums and Orange County’s largest, Bowers Museum continues to promote human understanding through its six permanent collections and special exhibitions from the greatest museums in the world.  Bowers is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

Return to Gallery Pages