Here is a rare opportunity for lovers of photography and the true icons of American art: “Ansel Adams: Early Works” opens at The Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover tonight. Adams was many things—musician, conservationist, naturalist, explorer, critic and teacher—in addition to being a giant in the field of landscape photography. This exhibition presents 40 works, some of which can be viewed as the end of an arc of American art concerned with capturing the sublime in the unspoiled Western landscape: a tradition that includes several painters on view within the Biggs Museum, including Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Cole. While you’re there, visit the museum’s galleries to see photographs from some important local collections: The Frank E. Schoonover Archive features photographs the Brandywine School illustrator used to create works in the Biggs Museum’s collection. The Stargatt Collection of Leonard C. Talley Stereoscopes highlights a talented, but little known, 19th century photographer from northern Delaware; The Sewell C. Biggs Archive documents the Biggs Museum founder’s 1937 trip around the world. As a bonus, get an up-close and personal look at cameras and tools photographers used during the early era of photography. To accompany the exhibit, the Biggs is offering an audio guide filled with commentary. To join in on the adventurous spirit of Adams’ photography, the Biggs has collaborated with Delaware State Parks and the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve to host a series of artist hikes in parks throughout the state. Every hike will be co-led by a park guide, who will provide information about each site, and a teaching artist who will offer instruction on creating landscapes art outdoors. Each event takes place in a different park and will highlight a different artistic medium. Check the Biggs’ website for dates. Pre-registration is required. Finally, Members can help the Biggs close exhibit with Ansel Adams: Artist, Environmentalist, Romantic on July 23, a panel discussion that explores Adams through the lenses of photography, arthistory, the National Parks, and environmentalism. The panel will be led by the superintendent of First State National Historic Park, Ethan McKinley and includes photographer and Adams’ scholar Carson Zullinger, UD professor of geology Michael O’Neal, and Biggs curator Ryan Grover. This is a landmark event—in more ways than one.
Find more at Biggsmuseum.org.