Ansel Adams and Alfred Stieglitz – The Greatest Pioneers of Photography – Adams, Ansel (Feb. 20 1902 — Apr. 22, 1984), photographer and environmentalist, was born in San Francisco, California, the son of Charles Hitchcock Adams, a business man, and Olive Bray. The grandson of a wealthy timber baron, Adams grew up in a house set amid the sand dunes of the Golden Gate. When Adams was only four, an aftershock of the great earthquake and fire of 1906 threw him to the ground and badly broke his nose, distinctly marking him for life. A year later the family fortune collapsed in the financial panic of 1907, and Adams’s father spent the rest of his life doggedly but fruitlessly attempting to recoup.
Seen in a more traditional art history context, Adams was the last and defining figure in the romantic tradition of nineteenth-century American landscape painting and photography. Adams’s vast archive of papers, memorabilia, correspondence, negatives, and many “fine” photographic prints, as well as numerous “work” or proof prints, are in the John P. Schaefer Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, Tucson.
Ansel Adams and Alfred Stieglitz – The Greatest Pioneers of Photography – Adams’s star rose rapidly in the early 1930s, propelled in part by his ability and in part by his effusive energy and activity. He made his first visit to New York in 1933, on a pilgrimage to meet photographer Alfred Stieglitz, the artist whose work and philosophy Adams most admired and whose life of commitment to the medium he consciously emulated.
Alphred Stieglitz was an American photographer and modern art promoter who was instrumental over his 50-year career in making photography an accepted art form. In addition to his photography, Stieglitz was known for the New York art galleries that he ran in the early part of the 20th century, where he introduced many avant-garde European artists to the U.S.