Near Bolinas, California

1940
Ansel Adams (American, 1902–1984)


Dimensions

Sheet: 24.13 x 17.46 cm (9 1/2 x 6 7/8 in.)

Accession Number

1992.325

Medium or Technique

Photograph, gelatin silver print

Not On View

Collections

Americas, Photography

Classifications

Photographs

(printed about 1940)


During the 1930s and 1940s, Ansel Adams made photographs of simple buildings such as farmhouses, barns, and small-town businesses set in the surrounding California landscape. Unlike many of his contemporaries, whose photographs reflected the hardship and suffering of the Depression, Adams did not choose these subjects for social-documentary ends. He did not see this as his role as a photographer. For him, the capacity of the large-format view camera to record the stark functional forms, eroded surfaces, and patina of age was much more important. Adams believed that people needed beautiful images to inspire them during difficult times. His Marin County barn is strangely dwarfed by the anthropomorphic stump in the foreground. His focus is on the graphic shape of the white building and the network of dark shadows running along the fence, rather than on the individuals who worked the land.

Inscription

Signed, in graphite, l. r.: Ansel Adams. Titled and signed, in graphite, top ctr: Near Bolinas/ California/ 1940/ Ansel Adams.

Provenance

Artist, 1942; Mrs. George R. Rowland, Boston; gift June 1992.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. George R. Rowland, Sr.

Copyright

Photograph by Ansel Adams. Used with permission of the Trustees of The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. All Rights Reserved.