In Search of Ansel Adams – Part 1: At the Wilderness Society

(Last Updated On: December 16, 2020)

We have an appointment this afternoon to tour the Department of the Interior’s murals, including photographs by Ansel Adams. The murals at Interior have long been on my to-do list, but yesterday a colleague told me that the Wilderness Society has a whole gallery devoted to Adams’ work in their headquarters building – which happens to be very near our hotel.

This is one of those buildings that belongs in an architectural mish-mash post (which is the reason I took the picture in the first place, before realizing it was our intended destination) and, as you can see, there is no reason to believe there is a treasure trove of photography on display here. (There isn’t even any indication that there is a gallery.) None-the-less, my colleague was quite clear, so we go in and see if she is right.

Indeed, the Wilderness Society’s DC office includes a gallery featuring an amazing collection of photographs by Ansel Adams. It’s a little overwhelming, but also oh-so-wonderful to see these incredible image in a setting where we have them pretty much to ourselves for as long as we want. The exhibit covers a broad range of Adams work from many places and many points in time – the only constant is the high quality and beauty of the prints and, of course, Adams’ uncanny ability to perfectly capture the light.

(From DC Mud real estate blog, but probably a Group Goetz Architects photo)

Ansel Adams – Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, CA (1944)

Ansel Adams – Aspens, Northern New Mexico (1958)

This might be my new favorite place in DC.

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