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Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

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Ansel Adams, American, (1902–1982)
Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 1942
Photographic materials on paper
15 x 19 1/2 in. (38.1 x 49.53 cm)


Object Type: Photography
Technique: Photography
Creation Place: North America, America, California
Credit Line: Gift of Virginia Adams
Accession Number: 2013.5.13


Commentary
In 1941, Ansel Adams was contracted by the Department of the Interior to create a photomural of natural landscapes for its building in Washington, DC. Adams had already shot a great deal of photographs when the project came to an end due to the onset of World War II. This photograph belongs to a series that Adams captured of Old Faithful Geyser during one of his visits to Yellowstone National Park. The plume of water consumes most of the frame as it erupts from the earth. The white water dwarfs the mountains in the background while reaching into the dark sky. The contrast between the water and background draws the viewer’s eye into the sulfuric mass and holds it there.

Rachel Rangel, Cal Poly Pomona ’17

***

Between 1978 and his death in 1984, Ansel Adams created a special inventory of fine photographic prints of his most important and favorite images. Adams created these prints in order to make his work more available to a wide range of institutions for public display and educational purposes as part of their permanent collections. These prints were sold in sets to individuals, corporations, and institutions suject to the written agreement that each set would not be sold on the open market, bu rather would be donated to institutions for public display and educational purposes. These sets of fine prints became known as the Ansel Adams Museum Sets.

Some of the institutions that have received gifts of Museum Set prints include The National Gallery of Art, the Wilderness Society, the Stanford art Museum, the de Young Museum, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Cornell University, and Princeton University.

Scripps College is very pleased to be the recipient of an Ansel Adams Museum Set through the generosity of the Virginia Adams Charitable Trust, created by Adams's wife, Virginia Best Adams. This gift to the Scripps College collection was made directly by the Virginia Adams Charitable Trust.

The copyright to this work and all works in the Ansel Adams Museum Set is held by the Virginia Adams Charitable Trust.

Marks
This work bears the signature of the artist in pencil at the lower right, directly beneath the photo.

Medium
silver gelatin print

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