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Ansel Adams in Our Time

September 19, 2020 – January 3, 2021

Ansel Adams photo of Grand Tetons
The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, Ansel Adams (American, 1902 – 1984), 1942, Photograph, gelatin silver print, 2018.2733, *Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Lane Collection, *© The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, *Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. (detail)

“America’s most famous nature photographer is given a new context.” – The Wall Street Journal

For more than 50 years, Ansel Adams captured the breathtaking beauty of the United States in stunning black-and-white photographs, many of which have been frozen in a time gone by.

In Ansel Adams in Our Time, discover more than 100 of Adams’ most iconic works like never before, displayed alongside nineteenth-century photographers and contemporary artists who both influenced, and were influenced by, the legendary American artist.

Visit national parks, the American Southwest, desert and wilderness spaces, and more as you move back and forth in time with Ansel Adams and 24 of his contemporary successors including Mark Klett, Trevor Paglen, Catherine Opie, Will Wilson, Abelardo Morell, Victoria Sambunaris, and Binh Danh, whose modern-day environmental concerns point directly to Adams’ legacy. In addition to admiring the photographs themselves, explore the history and production of pre-digital photography through this unique exhibition.

This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Exhibition Preview

Curators Conversation

#ChannelYourInnerAnsel

The curators selected their favorites…
We wanted to see how Ansel Adams in Our Time inspired you to get outdoors and create your own masterpiece! Between September 19 and November 1, we asked you to post your best nature-related photograph on Instagram with the hashtag #ChannelYourInnerAnsel.

On November 1, our curators selected three winning submissions to be printed and displayed in the gallery—Congratulations, Jane (@janepalmer7), Gerardo (@vermillionfilm), and Isabelle (@isabelleberryhill)!

Photo by Isabelle Berryhill

Isabelle Berryhill

Photo by Jane Palmer

Jane Palmer

Photo by Gerardo Gonzalez

Gerardo Gonzalez

…Then you did!
Our curators also selected 50 photographs for a second round of the #ChannelYourInnerAnsel contest, and this time, it was up to you to decide who won! Congratulations, Justin (@justinbretts), Chris (@tensegrity_chiropractic), and Lisa (@lisablountphotography)!

Photo of deer

Justin Smith

Photo of landscape with mountains in background

Chris Barnes

Photo of trees and mountains

Lisa Blount

With more than 2,500 submissions, it was extremely difficult to narrow down the submissions, and even more difficult to thank each of you individually for generously sharing your talent with us. Thank you for appreciating art and nature both inside and outside the gallery with us, and Ansel Adams. While Ansel Adams in Our Time is no longer on view, we hope the exhibition’s impact is long-lasting and continues to inspire you to explore and create.

Learn about Ansel Adams in our blogs

“In the American Southwest”: Adam Clark Vroman, Ansel Adams, and Will Wilson
How the West is One by Will Wilson

“In the American Southwest”: Adam Clark Vroman, Ansel Adams, and Will Wilson

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Problematic and misleading portrayals of Indigenous peoples have long marred US history. In this blog, we look at three artists included in Ansel Adams in Our Time.

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Ansel Adams: In Our Time Exhibition Store

Gift Ideas for Photography and Nature Lovers, Inspired by Ansel Adams in Our Time

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Ansel Adams, photo of Georgia O'Keeffe and Orville Cox

Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keeffe: A Friendship

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When we think of American artists, two of the most prominent names that arise from the twentieth century are Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keeffe.

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Ansel Adams...in Space!
Ansel Adams, The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Ansel Adams...in Space!

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  NASA produced two identical Golden Records, one for each spacecraft, both of which are now traveling in separate directions from our solar system. According to the NASA website, “On…
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Why We Are Placing Ansel Adams in Our Time
Ansel Adams with his camera

Why We Are Placing Ansel Adams in Our Time

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Ansel Adams is a familiar name to people both in and outside the art world. His photographs of the American West are squarely ingrained in popular imagination and are rightfully…

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Credits

The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, Ansel Adams (American, 1902 – 1984), 1942, Photograph, gelatin silver print, 2018.2733, *Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Lane Collection, *© The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, *Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Ansel Adams, Self-Portrait, Monument Valley, Utah, 1958, photograph, gelatin silver print. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Lane Collection, 2018.2657. © The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Ansel Adams, Moon and Half Dome, Yosemite National Park, 1960, photograph, gelatin silver print. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Lane Collection, 2018.2681. © The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Ansel Adams, Sand Dunes, Sunrise, Death Valley National Monument, California, 1948, photograph, gelatin silver print. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Lane Collection, 2018.2686. © The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Laura McPhee, Midsummer (Lupine and Fireweed), 2008, photograph, inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist. © Laura McPhee. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Abelardo Morell, Tent-Camera Image on Ground: View of Mount Moran and the Snake River from Oxbow Bend, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, 2011, photograph, inkjet print. Abelardo Morell | Courtesy of Edwynn Houk Gallery. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Carleton E. Watkins, Mount Starr King and Glacier Point, Yosemite, No. 69, 1865–66, photograph, mammoth albumen print from wet collodion negative. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.  Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

David Benjamin Sherry, Moon Over Rocks, Monument Valley, Arizona, 2013, photograph, chromogenic print. Courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York.

Meghann Riepenhoff, Littoral Drift #1297 (Triptych, Port Blakely, WA 08.14.19, Five Waves at Flow Tide, Propped on Barnacle Logs), 2019, photographs, dynamic cyanotypes. Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York .© Meghann Riepenhoff, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York.

Richard Misrach, Golden Gate Bridge 3.8.98 6:30pm, 1998, photograph, chromogenic dye coupler print. Private Collection, Cambridge. © Richard Misrach, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.