Ansel's contact show

Discussion in 'Contact Printing' started by Dave Wooten, May 5, 2005.

  1. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    October 27 to November 25, 1936, at the American Place gallery owned and operated by Stieglitz, Ansel exhibited 45 prints from negs made between 1931 and 1936.

    Most were 8 x 10, some were 4 x 5, all were contact prints.

    This was Adam's initial show in New York.
     
  2. rhphoto

    rhphoto Member

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    Darn it. I read this post and at first thought it was about an upcoming show of Ansel's contact prints. I'd certainly make it down to NYC to see that!
     
  3. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    I apologize Robert,

    I had been doing some reading and just thought I would share that bit of historical trivia which surprised me.
     
  4. juan

    juan Subscriber

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    I saw a show in Gainesville, Florida last summer that had a number of Ansel's contact prints - or, perhaps, some were small enlargements. The prints were from a private collection. It was very surprising to see some of his familiar images printed small and less Wagnarian.
    juan
     
  5. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    I saw shows as late as 1970 wherein the Adams prints were contact prints. They were beautiful, too. All of 'em.

    I've also seen a lot of his marvelous early work ruined by enlargement.
     
  6. VoidoidRamone

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    Out of curiosity, were Adams' contact prints on Azo? I don't remember him talking about Azo in his books (I might be forgetting though), but I think he'd be someone to use that paper.
    -Grant
     
  7. Michael A. Smith

    Michael A. Smith Subscriber

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    Adams did use Azo (it is mentioned in the book on making 40 photographs and I quote him in my update article on Azo), but he used other silver chloride papers as well. Back in the 30s and 40s photographers had a selection of silver chloride papers.
     
  8. VoidoidRamone

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    Thanks. I've only flipped through that book a couple of times, and obvioulsy I missed it.
    -Grant
     
  9. garryl

    garryl Member

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    I remember a story about a critic that lamblasted Adam. He said that the exhibit was boring and dull, because the prints were all the same size. I don't recall which show it was? But, I believe, Adam's wanted to prove that content is more important context in judging works.
     
  10. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    With a few notable exceptions, if you can't "do", you teach. If you can't teach, you become a critic. :wink:
     
  11. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Here it is. Examples The Making of 40 Photographs, p. 80:

    "It is one of the most satisfying prints I have ever made, and I have not been able to duplicate it with contemporary enlarging papers. The paper I used might have been Agfa Convira or Kodak Azo. Both were coated with silver-chloride emulsions, which tone faster and give more color than the predominant bromide or chloro-bromide emulsions of today."
     
  12. User Removed

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    We currently have several 8x10 contact prints from Adams on display at my work (The Center Of Creative Photography) here in Tucson. The new exhibit just was put up, so go take a look if your in the Tucson area.

    Ryan McIntosh
     
  13. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Ryan,

    Ansel's "Rocks and Grass" Moraine Lake, Sequoia National Park Ca, 1936
    now with Center for Creative Photography U of A Tuscon, is in the Jan 2005 issue of Art In America....by Sandra S. Phillips Curator SFMOMA

    Excellent insight into Ansel's first show and influence of Stieglitz.
     
  14. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

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    In the late 70s I attended an Adams exhibit at the Krannert Center, University of Illinois, Urbana. Like an idiot, I went near the end of the run, which meant being shoulder-to-shoulder with other late-comers. On my right, as we moved around the exhibit, were an early 30-something guy and his father. They were obviously dilletantes, and made all sorts of inane comments. I was pretty frustrated, but held my tongue. Until, that is, we got to a 30x40-ish print from an negative made in the early 40s. These two clowns pushed their noses up close to the print and the young-un opined "Yeah, that's 35mm!".

    I couldn't stand it any more, so I stated directly, "No, that's at least 4x5, probebly more like 5x7 or 8x10."

    "Oh, do you think so?" the young gun asked, as if "Who the f*@k are you?".

    "No," I replied, "I KNOW so. In the first place, at that time Ansel didn't do much 35mm work. Second, there was no 35mm film made at that time that could produce this."

    A sheepish "Oh." was the reply.

    I felt real, real good.

    Many years later, attending an Adams exhibt at the Ansel Adams gallery in SF, I got the same sense of awe and joy... without the idiots by my side.

    Earl
     
  15. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Earl,

    I am sorry I missed that show, I grew up in Decatur,practically next door to Krannert.

    you make a good point, there are a lot of "experts" out there.....
     
  16. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

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    Dave: I grew up in B-N, but am now a Canuck. ;-)
     
  17. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    I think the John Wesley Powell photographs are housed in that area?
     
  18. c6h6o3

    c6h6o3 Member

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    Do they have the greatest portrait ever made on display? That would be Adams' portrait of Weston under the eucalyptus tree. The contact print of that I saw was exquisite beyond words.
     
  19. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

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    I believe you are correct. I had completely forgotten about that, and can't recall their exact location. Perhaps at Illinois Wesleyan University? I can check if you like.

    Earl
     
  20. Dave Wooten

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    Yes I think it is I Wesleyan, or Bloomington Normal. Got to be IW.