Ansel Adams: Environmental Folk Hero

“It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment.”  –Ansel Adams

Many people recognize Ansel Adams for his breathtaking nature and landscape photography, but some may not realize what a visionary figure he was for wilderness preservation. Adams’ dedication to wilderness preservation, his commitment to the Sierra Club, and of course, his signature black-and-white photographs inspire an appreciation for natural beauty and a strong conservation ethic.

“Adams’ role in the Sierra Club became vital to his early success as a photographer. His first photographs and writings were published in the Sierra Club Bulletin. Adams also got involved politically, suggesting proposals for improving parks and wilderness, and soon became known as both an artist and defender of Yosemite. Adams’ images were first used for environmental purposes when seeking the creation of a national park in the Kings River region of the Sierra Nevada.

Why was Ansel Adams revered by Americans as no other artist or conservationist has been? William Turnage explains: “More than any other influential American of his epoch, Adams believed in both the possibility and the probability of humankind living in harmony and balance with its environment.” Ansel Adams was a dedicated artist-activist, playing a seminal role in the growth of an environmental consciousness in the U.S. and the development of a citizen environmental movement. His photographs continue to inspire the artist and conservationist alike.”  Read more about Adam’s important and shaping role in the Sierra Club here >>

“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” –Ansel Adams


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