Art: Images of America Before Its Fall

In American photography, Ansel Adams is the Old Man of the Mountain: a grizzle-bearded septuagenarian, wrinkled and piercing of eye, toting his tripod through the redwoods. It was almost 60 years ago that Adams, a teenage music student from San Francisco, took a box Brownie with him on a vacation in the Yosemite Valley and started clicking away at its prodigious crags. Since then he has become one of the most respected photographers and teachers in America, laden with honors and pursued by collectors. (His own selection of his work, with a foreword by...

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