[A]. Before the Golden Gate Bridge, 1932 by Ansel Adams
GUEST BLOG / By Cath Pound, BBC Culture Reporter--Ansel Adams is one of the giants of 20th-century photography, esteemed for hush gelatine silver photographs of the national parks that have become icons of the US wilderness.
A passionate champion of photography as a legitimate form of fine art, he referred to his most stunning images as his "Mona Lisas".
But Adams was also a tireless conservationist and wilderness preservationist who understood the power of a strong image to sway public and political opinion. His stirring images of US national parks have no doubt always inspired a desire to protect the natural world. But his lesser-known images of oil derricks and the decimated landscapes in California's Owens Valley have also taken on a renewed relevance in today's era of climate change.
Ansel Adams in Our Times at the de Young Museum, San Francisco showcases some of his most celebrated works, as well as those that are less familiar, revealing the ways in which his powerful imagery continues to advocate for the protection of the environment.
"The Golden Gate Before the Bridge, 1932" San Francisco, the city of Adams' birth, is where he first took up the large-format camera. "With images like this, one can sense his excitement with this new tool," the exhibition's curator, Karen Haas, from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, tells BBC Culture. "This is the strait that lies between San Francisco and the Marin headlands, a view that had been visible from his childhood home. The beach below is one that he regularly combed as a somewhat lonely and awkward only child, reinforcing his connection with nature even while living in the city and not in Yosemite," says Haas.
A. (Photo courtesy: The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
OTHER NON-ADAMS PHOTOS OF BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION 1933-37
B. Golden Gate Bridge construction began Jan. 5, 1933. The bridge was opened May 27, 1937.
C. This aerial view shows the wall for the south pier on the bridge. Photo courtesy of Wide World News, Oct. 3, 1934.
D. This photo of the bridge in progress, was taken Nov. 9, 1936.
E. 1936 - A bridge worker looks across to the San Francisco tower as cables are spun for the Golden Gate Bridge.
F. Pedestrians walk across the Golden Gate Bridge on May 27, 1937. San Francisco Chronicle archive photo.