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Books  >>  Biography

Mary Street Alinder

Ansel Adams

Mary Street Alinder Ansel Adams A Biography Revised Update
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Biographical note:

Mary Street Alinder is an independent scholar specializing in twentieth-century photography. In addition to her writings, she has curated exhibitions worldwide, including the 1987 Adams blockbuster at the de Young Museum and a 2002 Adams Centennial exhibition. Alinder has lectured internationally, from Washington, DC’s National Gallery to London’s Barbican Centre and China’s Shanghai Cultural Center. She lives in Northern California.

Main description:

First published in 1996, Mary Street Alinder’s biography of Ansel Adams remains the only full biography of one of the greatest American photographers. Alinder is a respected scholar, and also had a close connection to Adams, serving as his chief assistant in the last five years of his life. The portrait she creates of him is intimate and affectionate; it is also clear-eyed. She takes on his difficult childhood in San Francisco, the friendships and rivalries within his circle of photographers, his leadership in America’s environmental movement, his marriage, his affairs, and his not-always-successful fatherhood. Enriched by her uniquely personal understanding of Adams the man, she explains the artistic philosophy that, paired with his peerless technique, produced an inimitable style. Her biography is likely to remain unrivaled.

This new edition will bring the classic up to date and includes research that reveals new information and a deeper understanding of his greatest photographs. It will also include thirty-two pages of reproductions of Adams’s work and snapshots of the artist and close friends.

Review quote:

“A loving, minutely researched portrait of the photographer that acknowledges his humanity while confirming his enormous artistic contribution.” —Los Angeles Times

“[An] ennobling, moving book.” —Houston Chronicle

“Alinder writes like the close and discerning friend that she was . . . [She] provides a clear and rather endearing portrait of this mercurial artist: stubborn and fiery in his convictions, devoted to his own pursuit of beauty.” —San Francisco Chronicle

"Ms. Alinder ably chronicles Adams's esthetic breakthroughs and career moves." —The New York Times

Short description/annotation:

The definitive biography of Ansel Adams—revised and updated in a new edition.


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