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Unseen Ansel Adams-Los Angeles 1940

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Uploaded on Feb 21, 2012

In 1940 Los Angeles had a population of 1.5 million. The cost of gas was 10 cents and a new car was $700. The U.S. began rearming for World War II and the prestigious Ansel Adams was commissioned by Fortune Magazine to photograph a series of images for an article covering the aviation industry in the Los Angeles area. For the project, Adams took over 200 black & white photographs showing everyday life, businesses, street scenes and a variety of other subjects. But when the article, City of the Angels, appeared in the March 1941 issue, only a few of the images were included.

In the early 1960s Adams rediscovered the photographs among papers at his home in Carmel and donated them to the Los Angeles Public Library. He wrote in a letter: "The weather was bad over a rather long period and none of the pictures were very good... I would imagine that they represent about $100.00 minimum value... At any event, I do not want them back." But as many critics will agree, sometimes an artist is not always the best judge of their own work.

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) created some of the most influential photographs ever made; he was one of the 20th century's leading exponents of environmental values. It seems that every third family in America has an Adams' poster on the wall, images that were difficult to make but easy to love. His images portray a romanticized and unspoiled Western American landscape, but Ansel Adams Los Angeles is a whole other body of work that is rarely discussed, let alone seen.

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