Huntington Library Acquires Works by Photographers Ansel Adams, William Current

By Palma, Claudia | Daily News (Los Angeles, CA), April 24, 2015 | Go to article overview

Huntington Library Acquires Works by Photographers Ansel Adams, William Current


Palma, Claudia, Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)


Cemetery Statue and Oil Derricks, Long Beach, 1939. Photograph by Ansel Adams (1902-1984). Gelatin silver print, 15.25 by 18 inches. [copyright] 2015 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. Gift of George Melvin Byrne and Barbara S. Barrett-Byrne. [copyright] The Huntington

SAN MARINO» The Huntington Library and Gardens has recently received two generous gifts - a large collection of works by two iconic photographers, Ansel Adams and Pasadena-born William R. Current, .

The first is seven limited-edition portfolios from Adams, the famed photographer and environmentalist whose black-and-white photos captured the majestic beauty of nature.

"In my estimation, the portfolios are a vital, and underexamined, aspect of Adams' celebrated career," said Jennifer A. Watts, curator of photographs at The Huntington Library. "He played an active part in selecting the images and producing each set. Taken together, they offer deep insight into many of Adams' most pressing environmental and creative concerns over the course of 50 years."

The Huntington previously had a small collection of Adams' work including a rare "pre" portfolio made with author Mary Austin from the late 1920s and 1930s, as well as a dozen or so prints that Adams made exclusively for exhibit in art institutions.

The portfolios with 90 photographs in total, feature pictures selected and printed by the artist, including many from his favorite muse, Yosemite National Park, such as "Monolith, the Face of Half Dome" from 1927.

The first portfolio is from 1948 and the last from 1976. Adams died in 1984 at 82. The collection was a recent gift from George Melvin Byrne and Barbara S. Barrett-Byrne.

Byrne, who died soon after making the gift, had been a passionate amateur photographer for years and a hiker and avid environmentalist. …

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