Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984

Alternative names
Birth 1902-02-20
Death 1984-04-22

Biographical notes:

Ansel Adams, American photographer, was born February 20, 1902 in San Francisco, California. He was tutored privately at home where he studied piano, San Francisco, from 1914 to 1927, then studied photography with the photofinisher Frank Dittman, in San Francisco, in 1916 and 1917. He married Virginia Best in 1928, and had two children, Michael and Anne.

Adams began his career as a photographer, 1927, and worked as a commercial photographer, from 1930 to 1960. He was a photography correspondent for the Fortnightly Review, San Francisco, in 1931. He was a founder-member, with Willard Van Dyke, Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Sonia Noskowiak and Henry Swift, of Group f/64, San Francisco, in 1932. He was the director of Ansel Adams Photography and Art Gallery, San Francisco, in 1933 and 1934.

He was the founder, with Beaumont Newhall and David McAlpin, of the Photography Department, of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1940. He worked as a photo-muralist, for the United States Department of the Interior, in California, in 1941 and 1942, then as a photography consultant for the Office of War Information, Los Angeles, from 1942 to 1944.

He was a consultant to the Polaroid Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1949 to 1984. He lived and worked in Yosemite Valley, California, from 1937 to 1962, and in Carmel, California, from 1962 thru 1984.

He was an instructor with Edward Weston, U.S. Camera photographic forum, Yosemite Valley, in 1940, and an instructor in Photography, Art Center School, Los Angeles, 1941, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1945. He was founder-instructor of the Department of Photography of the California School of Fine Arts, San Francisco, 1946. He was the founder/instructor of the Ansel Adams Annual Photography Workshops, in Yosemite Valley, from 1955 to 1984.

He was a member of the board of directors, from 1934 to 1971, and honorary vice-president, from 1978 to 1984 of the Sierra Club, San Francisco. In 1967, he founded the Friends of Photography, Carmel. He died in Carmel, California, on April 23, 1984.


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  • Conservationists--Archival resources
  • Men--Portraits--1950-1960
  • Trees--Photographs--1940-1950
  • National parks and reserves--Photographs--1940-1950
  • Winter--Photographs--1940-1950
  • Deserts--Photographs--1940-1950
  • Driftwood
  • Wilderness areas--Photographs
  • Nature photography
  • Documentary photography
  • Blizzards--Photographs--1940-1950
  • National monuments--Photographs--1940-1950
  • Valleys--Photographs--1940-1950
  • Rain--Photographs--1930-1940
  • Service stations--Photographs
  • Mountaineers--Portraits--1920-1930
  • Landscape--Photographs
  • Nature
  • Photography, Artistic
  • Photographers
  • Nature--Photographs--1930-1950
  • Photography
  • Wilderness areas--Photographs--1940-1950
  • Leaves--Photographs--1930-1950
  • Grasses--Photographs--1930-1940
  • Environmentalists
  • Roots (Botany)--Photographs--1940-1950
  • Rock formations--Photographs--1940-1950
  • Photographers--Archival resources
  • Men--Portraits--1920-1930
  • Landscape photography
  • Conservationists
  • Forests--Photographs--1940-1950
  • Camp sites, facilities, etc.--Photographs--1920-1930
  • Filmmakers
  • Pine cones--Photographs--1930-1940
  • Japanese Americans--Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945--Archival resources
  • Flowers--Photographs--1930-1940


  • Conservationists--California--Archival resources
  • Photographers--California--Archival resources
  • Photographers


  • Nevada (as recorded)
  • California (as recorded)
  • Joshua Tree National Monument (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • California--Yosemite National Park (as recorded)
  • Yosemite National Park (Calif.) (as recorded)
  • Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.) (as recorded)
  • Arizona (as recorded)
  • Alaska (as recorded)
  • Mount Rainier National Park (Wash.) (as recorded)
  • Foster Gardens (Hawaii) (as recorded)
  • Sunset Crater National Monument (Ariz.) (as recorded)
  • Death Valley National Monument (Calif. and Nev.) (as recorded)
  • Washington (State) (as recorded)