Ansel ADAMS, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico Enlarge 1 /1


San Francisco, California, United States of America 1902 – Carmel, California, United States of America 1984

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico 1941 Collection Title: Ansel Adams Museum Set
Place made: Hernandez, New Mexico, United States of America
Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: printed image 38.6 h x 49.0 w cm mount 55.6 h x 71.0 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1980
Accession No: NGA 81.3064.31

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Adams became the most famous landscape photographer in the world on the back of his images of America’s West. While mass tourism was invading these wilderness areas, Adams’s photographs show only untouched natural splendour. His landscapes are remarkable for their deep, clear space, distinguishable by an uncanny stillness and clarity. The story of Moonrise is legendary: driving through the Chama River Valley toward Española, Adams just managed by a few seconds to catch this fleeting moment before the dying sunlight stopped illuminating the crosses in the graveyard. Through hours of darkroom manipulation and wizardry, Adams created an image of almost mystical unworldliness.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra