ANSEL ADAMS Archive. Three Typed Letters Signed.
Ansel Adams Archive. Three Typed Letters Signed, 1957 and 1968. Adams refers to photographers Alfred Stieglitz and Edward Stiechen and his Family of Man exhibit at MOMA in the second letter and Stieglitz. Edward Weston, Minor White and himself in the third letter. He gives advice on a film developing process in the first and second letters. Each letter is on different personalized printed address stationery and all are addressed to Steurat Oring who was photography student at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) at the time.
April 11, 1957, San Francisco, 1 page, 4to. "Now, about your Pyrocatechin Project...I do not have any Zone-system data on this developer which could be of use... especially with the modern films. It is a 'tanning' developer and you might have serious trouble with it used on the new thin-emulsion films...." He offers five suggestions, asks to know how his suggestions turn out and signs in full with black crayon, "Ansel Adams." In is own hand he adds,"and 'normal' developing time," at the end of his third suggestion. Pyrocatechin is used in developing film. This letter is 8 1/2 x 11 inches. Condition: Narrow bend at the bottom creasing the bottom of the "A" in Ansel and across part of the paraph under the signature but page and signature are intact.
April 23, 1957. San Francisco, 2 pages, 4to. Adams apologizes for a short letter because he is, "in a real jam of work...." He continues his comments on Pyrocatechin. "I am glad you have been getting results with Pyrocatechin. It is a tricky developer...The Kodak Rapid Selenium toner works fine---is MUCH safer than trying to mix your own - selenium is a DEADLY poison...use rubber gloves when toning...I always have a hard time understanding the meaning of GAMMA IN CREATIVE WORK...what concerns us most are the density (or opacity) ranges of our negatives...." After a more technical discussion he writes about fellow photographer Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946). Stieglitz significantly expanded the domain of photography into the art world. "Stieglitz was a great man...The spirit of craftsmanship is being violated on every hand. Such exhibits as the Family of Man are a disgrace to the art and craft of photography! There were some beautiful images in that collection but the lack of feeling and sensitivity were painful indeed. Stieglitz would have turned over in this Grave...." Adams adds an ending comment and signs in red ink, "Ansel Adams." Adams refers to photographer Edward Steichen's "Family of Man" photography exhibit at MOMA, in 1955, two years prior to this letter. Adams was not alone in his criticism of Steichen, who served as Director of the Department of Photography at The Museum of Modern Art since 1947.
February 18, 1968. Carmel, CA, 8vo. Adams compares photographers including himself. "the only relationship that can be firmly established between Stieglitz, E[dward] Weston, Minor White and myself relates to a common effort to work in the domain of straight photography, with expressive intention...I am closer to E. Weston...in the physical sense (technique, materials, etc.) but I am closer to Stieglitz in the esthetic...(in the spiritual approach). Minor White of [sic] far more concerned with the extreme subjective approach...." His final comment looks to the future of photography. "...the next stage of photography will relate to an awareness of man's condition and the future of his environment...." He signs this third letter in blue ink, "Ansel Adams." Three punch holes on the left margin and a small fold at the lower right edge.
A fine trio of substantive letters.