Ansel Adams was born as Ancel Easton Adams. He was born as an only child and grew up in a small house overlooking the Golding gate bridge in San Francisco in 1902. For miles around his home were beaches, dunes and wilderness that shape his life. The fortune his grandfather had assembled in the yeas fallowing the timber and gold rush had finish collapsing completely in 1907 plunging his father into finical difficulties and his mother into a depression in which she never fully recovered. The finical problems created a lot of stress in the home while Ancel was growing up.
Ansel was a lonely child often ill and prone to fits and uncontrolled feelings and restless energy he could not contain. In his own autobiography he explains he wasn’t an altogether child. In was rolled without success in one school after another he often found it difficult to stay in his desk. He’s father abandoned the idea of conventional school and got him private lessons, and let him rome for hours around the duns and cliff along by the house anywhere his boundless energy would take him.
On Aprl 18th 1906 when he was a little more than 4 an aftershock of the great San Francisco erath Quake sent him head first in to a low garden wall severely braking his nose with forever after witch veered to the left.
In 1914 when Ansel was only 12 he began to find the focus of the feeling that welled up inside him. The piano was something he instinctively fell in love with. He sat down at the piano as just a kid and could with in a couple months without a teacher could read music. Despite the family continuing finical difficulties he father did everything he could to nature his son’s unusual gift and purchased a Mason and Hameln piano.
When Ansel was 14 his ant gave him a book to read about Yosemite when he was ill by one of the earliest promoters of Yosemite, JM Huching. On Jun 1st 1916 the family set off form San Francisco to Yosemite. In Ansels words, “There was light everywhere”. Shortly after arriving in Yosemite he father gave him a fateful gift, a Kodak #1 box Brownie camera. In the years to come the mountains and music would become his twin obsessions. Each fall in San Francisco he threw himself in to the study of the piano, often practicing for more than six hours a day. Each summer he would make his way back to Yosemite to explore the mountains and work on his new hobby. In the beginning his photographs were nothing more them snapshots, aid to memory. Disappointed that it convad so little of what he had seen and felt, He set out to learn everything about the photogrhic proses, teaching himself to develop and print he own images.
In the summer of 1920 determined to become a concert pianist he began searching for a piano in the Yosemite Valley and soon found one in the studio of a painter Harry Best. Who far haired daters became quickly another reason for ansel to visit. Virginia and Ansel were the perfect mate. Virginia love poetry, she was studying to become a classical singer, she was involved in music and litericher, everything Ansle cared about. It was a very long courtship, on again off again. Sever time Ansel gave his live to music witch didn’t involve marriage.
For the seven more years he would struggle to define himself as an artist believing music as the high art form. But in the winter 1927 he wrote to Virginia expressing his desire returning to Yosemite and being in the mountains, and that although the music is wonderful , but the musical world is bunk, so much petting doing, and insincerity.
Ansel and Virginia where married in the of Virginia’s father’s house in Yosemite. He was 26 years old.
Ansel Adams' most important work was devoted to what was or appeared to be the country's remaining fragments of untouched wilderness, especially in national parks and other areas of the American West. Adams was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Jimmy Carter, who said, "so much of America has been saved for future Americans" in Adams' photos.
Ansel Adams died April 22, 1984 in Carmel, California at age 82
Six months after hes death compress made a tribute the great environmentalist and photographer and set aside a track of emaice wilderness south east of Yosemite and called it the Ansel Adams wilderness.
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PBS American Experience - Ansel Adams, A Documentary Film