Friday, February 3, 2012

Ansel Adams 'City of Angels' Photos

Around 1939, Ansel Adams was commissioned by Fortune magazine to photograph a series of images for an article covering the aviation history of the Los Angeles area. For the project, Adams took over 200 photographs showing everyday life, businesses, street scenes, and a variety of other subjects, but when the article, "City of Angels," appeared in the March 1941 issue, only a few of the images were included.

Approximately 20 years later, Adams rediscovered all of the photographs among papers at his home in Carmel, and sent a letter of inquiry to the Los Angeles Public Library, asking if the institution would be interested in receiving the collection as a donation. In his letter, Adams expressed that, "the weather was bad over a rather long period and none of the pictures were very good" and "if they have no value whatsoever, please dispose of them in the incenerator [sic]." He went on to write that "I would imagine that they represent about $100.00 minimum value." In response, the Los Angeles Public Library gladly accepted the gift of 135 contact prints and 217 negatives, and the staff concluded that a fair value for the collection would be $150.00.

Photo librarian Christina Rice has posted more than 200 of the images on the LAPL website. An LA gallery is creating new silver-gelatin prints from the original negatives, which will be on sale to benefit the library.

Below are some of Adams' images of life at the Olympic Trailer Court in Santa Monica.

No comments:

Post a Comment