We all know that Ansel Adams' work is the work of one of (if not the) the most recognized photographers in the US, if not the world. His work is iconic. We all can recognize it.
For me, he is much more than that. He is "my" photographer because I grew up in California at a time when his work was probably at the very height of its popularity there. When we went to the bank, it was likely his photos that adorned the walls. When we visited someone's home, there was probably a coffee table book of his photos on the coffee table.
When I saw the pieces in this show, I was overwhelmed with homesickness that I had not felt in many, many years. While not all the pieces are from the West Coast, many are. The Pacific is "my" ocean. The waves breaking on the beaches in San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties are part of my childhood memories. The waterfalls and rivers are part of my recollections of my young adulthood, camping in Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. His very first photo, of the Palace of Fine Arts reflected in the lagoon surrounding it, was where my brother was married, was a place we walked to in our neighborhood. I tear up just writing about what I saw.
So, for me, this exhibit is very personal, very poignant, and most certainly very beautiful. What will it be for you?
Here is the press release from PEM which will assist you with more of the details you may want to know about this wonderful new show.