MFA Boston brings Ansel Adams into the present day

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“You cant really, as a photographer, tackle the subject of American western photography without coming to grips with [Ansel Adams],” says Karen Haas, the Lane curator of photographs at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). “He is someone who is this larger-than-life, iconic figure in the field.” Haas has organised the new MFA exhibitions Ansel Adams in Our Time (until 24 February), which includes major works by Adams likeThe Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (1942), as well as pieces by his 19th century ancestors like Eadweard Muybridge , Timothy OSullivan and Carleton Watkins and artists today who are influenced by his legacy. From Adamss work, the show “jump[s] to very contemporary work that seems to me to be responding either to a place or a theme directly within Ansel Adamss career”, Haas says, with more than 20 contemporary photographers and artists including Catherine Opie, Trevor Paglen and Binh Danh looking at themes such as environmental destruction and preservation and southwest Native American life. The exhibition celebrates a gift of nearly 500 photographs by Adams from the Lane Collection, announced in 2012 and now being formalised.

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