More Ansel Adams Images of the Bay Area – Leaves, Mills College

April 14, 2012

Ansel Adams is rightly celebrated for his iconic images of Yosemite, National Parks and the Southwest. We sometimes overlook some of his more sublime images from his home in San Francisco and the Bay Area.

Leaves, Mills College, California – In 1933 Adams showed a selection of his photographs to the dean of the Art Department at Yale University. Adams wrote, “The dean was a most gracious and kindly person but had never seen my type of photographs. He was taken with ‘Leaves, Mills College Campus’ and asked, ‘Just what is this?’ I said, ‘It is a picture of foliage.’ ‘Yes, I understand that, but what is the subject?’ I said ‘What do you mean?’ He replied (just a bit testily), ‘What is the medium – is it an etching, a lithograph or a detailed painting?’ I said, ‘It’s a photograph!’ I was finally able to convince him that it was a direct photograph from nature. He became quite excited and arranged an exhibit of my work at Yale in 1934.”
Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs, pg 416 Little, Brown