Finding aid to Ansel Adams photograph collection PC-RM-Adams

Jaime Henderson
California Historical Society
July 2018
678 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
reference@calhist.org


Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: California Historical Society
Title: Ansel Adams photograph collection
Creator: Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984
Identifier/Call Number: PC-RM-Adams
Physical Description: 2.60 Linear Feet; 1 half legal document box and 1 flat box
Date (inclusive): circa 1936
Abstract: Contains 26 black and white photographic prints taken by Ansel Easton Adams. Date of creation of photographs is unknown, although notations on back of some photographs indicate they were taken prior to 1936. Photographs include nature and landscape scenes; portraits; and city scenes of San Francisco. There are two sets of photographs showing murals by Diego Rivera and Gottardo Piazzoni. Also includes two photographs Adams took for the American Trust Company.
Language of Material: Collection materials are in English.

Scope and Content

Contains 26 black and white photographic prints taken by Ansel Easton Adams. Dates of creation of photographs is unknown, although notations on backs of some photographs indicate they were taken prior to 1936. Photographs show nature and landscape scenes in the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite Valley, and Sequoia National Park; portraits of Sigmund Stern, Charles E. Wood, Domenico Brescia, Ina Coolbrith and Erich Leinsdorf; and city scenes of San Francisco. There are two sets of photographs of murals. The first set is two panoramas made up of five prints depicting murals done by Gottardo Piazzoni that were displayed at the San Francisco Public Library; the second is three photographic prints of a Diego Rivera mural, Still Life and Blossoming Almond Trees, displayed at the Stern residence in Atherton, California. There are two photographs Adams took for the American Trust Company, one shows a pioneer family in New Melony, California, the other a view of Gilroy Valley from Fremont Peak. Many of the photographs were gifts from Ansel Adams to Albert M. Bender, given between 1927 and 1936.

Biographical / Historical

Ansel Easton Adams was born in San Francisco on February 20, 1902. Adams started photographing nature scenes around 1919 while a Sierra Club member. In 1927 Adams came under the patronage of Albert M. Bender, who helped Adams publish his first portfolio. Widely known as a photographer of natural landscapes, most especially for his images of the Sierra Nevada and Yosemity Valley, Adams was also an environmental perservationist. In 1974 Adams had a major retrospective exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Adams died in Monterey, California on April 22, 1984.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust (AAPRT) holds copyright to all works by Ansel Adams. For copyright clearance and permission to use images from the Ansel Adams photographs held at the California Historical Society. For information about obtaining permission please see the Center for Creative Photography.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials found in collection; provenance is unknown.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item, date]; Ansel Adams photograph collection, PC-RM-Adams; [box number, folder number]; California Historical Society.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Bridalveil Fall (Calif.) -- Pictorial works
Yosemite Valley (Calif.) -- Pictorial works
Half Dome (Calif.) -- Pictorial works
San Francisco (Calif.) -- Pictorial works
Sequoia National Park (Calif.) -- Pictorial works
Portraits
Photographic prints
Coolbrith, Ina D. (Ina Donna), 1842?-1928

Box 1, Folder 1

Domenico Brescia

Box 1, Folder 2

Ina D. Coolbrith

Scope and Contents

File also contains a Parmelian Print of Ina D. Coolbrith by Ansel Adams, back cover of print labeled: "This Parmelian Print by Ansel Easton Adams of San Francisco is no. 937. Presented to Ina Coolbrith Circle by Albert M. Bender, Sept. 1934."
Box 1, Folder 3

Erich Leinsdorf

Scope and Contents

Back of photograph labeled: "Erich Leinsdorf, who will be guest conductor of the San Francisco Opera Company this fall and who is now Musical Director and Conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. August 15, 1955."
Box 1, Folder 4

Diego Rivera mural

Scope and Contents

Three photographs of Diego Rivera's mural Still Life and Blossoming Almond Trees. Two are close ups of the mural, one shows the entire mural. All photographs signed by Ansel Adams. Labeled on back of one photograph: "In residence of Mrs. Sigmund Stern, Atherton, California."
Box 1, Folder 5

San Francisco

Scope and Contents

Two photographs of San Francisco. One is labeled: "Factory Building, San Francisco." The other depicts a general view of San Francisco from the 1940s.
Box 1, Folder 6

Sequoia National Park

Scope and Contents

Photograph mounted. Back of mount labeled: " Sunset in Cliff Creek Canon, Kaweah River, Sequoia Nat. Park. First print of the [illegible] work to Albert Bender, Ansel Adams, 1927."
Box 1, Folder 7

Sierra Nevada

Scope and Contents

Three mounted photographs taken by Ansel Adams in the Sierra Nevada. Each is labeled with title at bottom left on mat board. Includes: Detail, Timberline Pine, Sierra Nevada; Lake and Cliff, Sierra Nevada; and In the Sierra Nevada.
Box 1, Folder 8

Yosemite Valley

Scope and Contents

Photograph is mounted; labeled on bottom left of mat board: Half Dome, Yosemite Valley.
Box 1, Folder 9

Miscellaneous

Scope and Contents

Two mounted photographs. Both labeled bottom left on mat board: " Boards and Thistles; Pine Cone and Eucalyptus Leaves."
Box 2, Folder 1

Photographs for the American Trust Company

Scope and Contents

Two mounted photographs Ansel Adams created for the American Trust Company. One photograph is labeled on back: Pioneer family, rancher, New Melony, California. The second is labeled on back: Gilroy from Fremont Peak.
Box 2, Folder 2

Portraits

Scope and Contents

Two portraits. The first is titled: Wisteria in Season, Atherton, California and is a portrait of Sigmund Stern. The second portrait is of Charles E. Wood. Both portraits are signed by Ansel Adams.
Box 2, Folder 3

Gottardo Piazzoni murals

Scope and Contents

Contains two mat boards each mounted with five photographs. One depicts Gottardo Piazzoni's The Sea, the other depicts Piazzoni's The Land. Back of one mat board is labeled: "Photographs of the ten murals for the San Francisco Public Library by Gottardo Piazzoni. (Signed by the painer.)"
Box 2, Folder 4

Half Dome, Yosemite Valley

Scope and Contents

Photograph of Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, signed by Ansel Adams. Mount has been removed, back contains a label reading: "Ansel Easton Adams Parmelian Print, No. 1192."
Box 2, Folder 5

Winter, Yosemite

Scope and Contents

Photograph is mounted on mat board. Below photograph, on mat board, is written: Winter, Yosemite, For Albert Bender, Ansel Adams, 1934. Back of photograph, on mat board, is labeled: "Dear Albert, Much love and good wishes. From Ansel and Virginia [illegible] 1934."
Box 2, Folder 6

Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite Valley

Scope and Contents

Photograph is mounted on mat board. Below photograph, on mat board, is written: Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite Valley, California, For Albert M. Bender, Ansel Adams. Back of photograph, on mat board, is labeled: "For Albert M. Bender, most affectinately Ansel Adams, June 2, 1935."