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Ansel Adams, American, (1902–1982)
Dawn, Autumn Forest, Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee, 1948
Photographic materials on paper
19 1/4 x 14 5/8 in. (48.9 x 37.15 cm)

Object Type: Photography
Technique: Photography
Credit Line: Gift of Virginia Adams
Accession Number: 2013.5.3

Dawn, Autumn Forest first draws attention to the lightest treetops. The eye then follows lines formed by the slender, delicate tree trunks to either the darker foreground or background of the image. The trunks are centrally located and brighter than the rest of the composition, emphasizing the individuality of each tree. This emphasis elicits an intimacy with the landscape—we see, in tremendous detail, parts of the whole that are the Great Smoky Mountains. Adams seems to encourage his viewer to consider the infinitesimal growth that created the foliage that blankets the mountains.
Laura Woods, SCR ’18


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.

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

silver gelatin print

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