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Ansel Adams at the MFA

Today rsc and I went to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts to see the Ansel Adams exhibit (closes Dec 31). In some ways there were too many photographs there; I didn't look carefully at every one. It was a fine exhibit. And now we definitely have to go to Yosemite!

A couple of highlights for me: He had a photo of Golden Gate before the bridge was built; I don't think I've ever seen that. They had a film running and in part of it he was playing Bach on a grand piano. Apparently for a while he wanted to be a concert pianist but gave it up partly because of stage fright. Somewhere in the exhibit it said that in some year 1/2 the photograph sales in the US were his.

I suppose that a lot of younger visitors would wonder what is this stuff - film, developer, black-and-white photos...

In the museum shop associated with the exhibit I was drawn to a number of books with works by Andy Goldsworthy. If you haven't seen his stuff, a Google search yields a huge amount of images. I suppose it is a bit of sacrilege to be in awe of someone else's works in the shop next to the Ansel Adams exhibit.

In my copy of This is the American Earth that I haven't looked at in a while I saw a caption on one of his pictures of the Sierra Nevada:
This, as citizens, we all inherit. This is ours, to love and live upon, and use wisely down all the generations of the future.

And meanwhile, congress is OKing drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

We then went to see the Things I Love: The Many Collections of William I. Koch exhibit (closes Nov 27 - just extended). He has a very interesting collection; it's convenient to be so rich. There was a Picasso that had paintings on the front and the back of the canvas; both sides were shown. Lots of pistols and a few special bottles of wine were among the things shown. He was the owner of America3, the winner of the 1992 America's cup. The exhibit included scale models of all the America's cup yachts. It was interesting to see their evolution.

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BB got some sort of special tour of the Adams exhibit and loved it.

I've been intrigued by Goldsworthy ever since I discovered him last year. That tree is gorgeous.

I'm going to have to check out Goldsworthy.

The Ansel Adams phenom happened for a number of coinciding reasons:
- an audience that was unfamiliar with travelling to see gorgeous natural sites
- a discovery about how to control contrast in b/w negative film through development
- his eye for beauty and light and composition.

Andy Goldsworthy - I keep hearing about him but never knew the name. Thanks!

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