Photographer Ansel Adams (1902–1984), began his long career at age 12 in Yosemite National Park with a Kodak cardboard box Brownie Camera. A nervous, sickly misfit who dropped out of school in the eighth grade, Adams found his life’s calling, and his salvation, in the wilderness of the Sierra Nevada. He devoted the rest of his days to sharing the transformative power of wilderness through his art, and through his leadership in the Sierra Club. Hidy was chosen by Adams to collaborate on the last book of his career, Yosemite and the Range of Light (1979). Hidy continued to be the main designer of Adams books after his death in 1984.
Informed by his first-hand experience with Adams and his circle, Hidy brings a personal perspective to the Ansel Adams story. Ansel visited Yosemite Valley during 67 consecutive years; in his lifetime he shot over 40,000 photographs; he produced several dozen books that have sold over a million copies—including advanced technical manuals for photographers; he taught many workshops; he cofounded the first museum department of photography at the Museum of Modern Art; and, for nearly 40 years he was a leader in the Sierra Club. The lecture is enlivened by quotes from Adams’ autobiography, and by dozens of his finest photographs.
Lance Hidy studied art and design at Yale University. He was co-founder and art director of David R. Godine, Publisher before starting his own design firm, specializing in the design of posters and photography books. Ansel Adams and Arnold Newman are among the photographers he worked with. Hidy was a typographic consultant to Adobe Systems, for whom he designed the typeface Penumbra, a family of sixteen fonts. He was the art director of Harvard Business Review, has designed three U. S. postage stamps, and specializes in corporate identity and logo design. In addition to running his design, illustration, and photography studio, Hidy’s writing on design history has been widely published. For 18 years he served as a professor of photography and design at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, Massachusetts, where he continues to work part-time as an accessibility specialist.
There will be a raffle at the end of the lecture for:
Looking at Ansel Adams: The Photographs and the Man.
Looking at Ansel Adams is a personal and penetrating study that explores Ansel’s life as an artist by looking closely at the stories behind 20 of his most significant images. Immediately recognizable photographs like Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, and Mount McKinley and Wonder Lake are turned on their axes and seen from a new angle, along with ancillary photographs, alternative versions, and letters and postcards that relate to these beloved icons. Less familiar but equally important photographs provide unexpected insight into Ansel’s creative and personal life. For anyone with a love of the American wilderness and an interest in the life and work of the country’s most revered landscape photographer and environmental advocate, Looking at Ansel Adams is an essential and deeply satisfying book.
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