Ansel Adams (1902 - 1984)
Photographer, author, lecturer, and environmental activist Ansel Adams was born in San Francisco, California, the only child of older parents. In his early years, his somewhat withdrawn personality contributed greatly to Adams’ love of solitude and the natural landscape, beginning with his intimate familiarity with the Golden Gate region where the family home was located.
His early enthusiasm for the piano led to formal lessons, which imparted structure and discipline to the largely undisciplined young man and fostered his desire for a musical career, which Adams gradually abandoned in favor of photography, retaining and adapting the method and discipline of musical performance to his camera work and to his subsequent teachings on that subject.
Adams joined the Sierra Club in 1919, and as an active member, passionate conservationist and environmentalist he first developed his distinctive eye and technical skills recording club activities with his Brownie box camera on numerous field outings. He joined the Sierra Club Board in 1934. In 1927, he met Albert Bender of San Francisco a well to do patron of the arts, who befriended, encouraged, and supported Adams, launching him on his long career as a photographer. Subsequent influences included Mary Austin, Paul Strand, and Edward Weston. Best known for his images of the Sierra, Yosemite, and the American Southwest, Adams’ images are distinguished by their striking clarity, artistically enhanced by the careful refinement of tonality in the printmaking process.
Adams was an indefatigable lecturer and author, and produced a body of writing in collaboration with many associates. Beaumont and Nancy Newhall, in particular, worked with Adams to establish the first department of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and Adams collaborated with Nancy on several iconic books on photography in the 1950s and 1960s. He remained active and influential for over five decades, and died at Carmel, California.
Liliane De Cock
Silver gelatin print, 1970; edition not stated. Image size 8¾" x 12¾" (full bleed); mount size 14" x 17-15/16." Signed in pencil by Adams, with his studio stamp on the reverse of the mount. Faintly toned in the sight area of the mount, with a 4¾" long adhesive remnant at the upper edge of the mount.
This is a beautiful portrait by Ansel Adams of his then assistant, Liliane De Cock, who was born in Antwerp in 1939. She emigrated to the United States in 1960, and from 1963 until 1972, when she married Douglas Morgan and moved with him to New York state, she was the great photographer's full-time assistant.
In 1972, she also became a Guggenheim Fellow, leading to an independent career as a highly-regarded photographer in her own right as well as editor of photography books and a juror of photography competitions. She died at her home in Wiscasset, Maine in 2013.
Extremely scarce, with only one auction appearance known.