Ansel Adams once wrote, “I hope that my work will encourage self-expression in others and stimulate the search for beauty and creative excitement in the great world around us.” The newest exhibit at the Briscoe Western Art Museum, "Ansel Adams: Distance and Detail," certainly helps accomplish that goal.
The collection, on display through December 15, contains Adams' art ranging from 1931 to 1976. Favorites, such as Moonrise over Hernandez and Dunes, are exhibited alongside political pieces, such as Cemetery Statue and Oil Derricks.
Sharon Garcia, head of communications and marketing for the Briscoe, believes this exhibit harmonizes with the museum’s mission. “Presenting a show by Ansel Adams is a perfect fit for the Briscoe,” she said. “We consider exhibitions such as this one vital in preserving the art, history, and culture of the American West.”
Photography was just one of the ways that Adams brought attention to the wilderness. “He was also an environmental activist and major proponent of the national parks, playing a key role in the growth of the U.S. conservation movement,” Garcia said.
And, said Garcia, photography students can learn a method developed by Adams and Fred Archer called the Zone System. “The technique is simple but very effective,” Garcia said. “It balances extreme differences between light and shadow in an image and produces the type of stunning photographs you see in this exhibition.”
The assemblage of 30 photographs is from the Bank of America Collection. Jennifer Cantu, manager of cultural philanthropy for the bank, says the arts matter.
“We brought the Jamie Wyeth exhibit to the San Antonio Museum of Art in 2015 and The Art Books of Henri Matisse the year before that,” Cantu said. “Bank of America’s Art in Our Communities is one way we can connect people and communities with the arts.”