A spectacular grouping of Ansel Adams photographs now enhances the Scripps College art collections. The “Museum Set” was presented to Scripps directly by the trust created by Adams’s wife, Virginia Best Adams, and thus, each photo in the gift is in absolutely pristine condition. Through the generosity of the Virginia Adams Charitable Trust, the College owns 21 Ansel Adams works, which demonstrate his love of the drama and grandeur of the natural world via images of Yosemite, Yellowstone, Sequoia, Death Valley, the Smoky Mountains and Mount Rainier. While nature predominates, the set also contains examples of his other photographic interests, such as architectural studies and portraits, including one of the great Mexican muralist, Jose Clemente Orozco.
Between 1978 and his death in 1984, Ansel Adams created a special inventory of photographic prints of the pieces he considered to be his finest and most iconic. His goal with these prints was to make his work available to a wide range of institutions for public display and educational purposes. These sets of fine prints became known as the Ansel Adams Museum Sets.
Institutions that have received gifts of Museum Set prints include The National Gallery of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Wilderness Society, the Stanford Art Museum, the de Young Museum, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Cornell University, and Princeton University. “The Museum Set now gives students at Scripps and The Claremont Colleges the opportunity to see firsthand Ansel Adams’s extraordinary artistry,” notes Mary MacNaughton, director of the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery.
Visitors will have the opportunity to see some of this Museum Set in the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery’s upcoming exhibition, “Focus on Photography: Building a Collection at Scripps,”which runs from Oct. 26 through Dec. 15. Opening day will feature a panel discussion among collectors who helped build the collection. That event will take place at the Clark Humanities Museum on the Scripps College campus on Oct. 26 from 4 to 5 p.m. Live music and light refreshments follow at the gallery from 7 to 9 p.m. The events are free of charge and open to the public.