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Adams, Weston and Black-and-White Beauty



Brett Weston, “Untitled [mud cracks]” 1954

Color isn't the only tool in an artist's arsenal – while the dozens of works on display in the Oklahoma City Museum of Art's newest pair of exhibitions are lacking in vivid hues, they're anything but lifeless and dull. Two of America’s photographic legends combine for an intensely beautiful viewing experience showcasing the sky above our heads, the earth beneath our feet and the incredible potential of black-and-white film.

Names don’t come any bigger than Ansel Adams; he’s probably the most famous photographer who’s ever lived. Besides developing his own considerable gifts through taking more than 40,000 photographs during his career, he helped refine the science of the medium by co-formulating the Zone System to determine proper exposure for a given shot and, perhaps most importantly, popularized the idea that a camera could be more than a tool for documenting individual moments.
In his words, “Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas; it is a creative art.” For its first century, it simply wasn’t considered an art form, and if that seems strange to us now, it’s because Adams and his successful efforts to develop recognition for his name and work helped elevate the medium in the public consciousness.

Adams was also a staunch environmentalist, joining the Sierra Club at 17 and spending the remainder of his life campaigning for the preservation of nature. He helped organize the first museum photography department at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, created the first academic photography department at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco
Art Institute) and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980 by Jimmy Carter for his efforts as a “visionary and environmentalist.”

Brett Weston “Untitled [tree bark]” ca. 1975

Organized by the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, the exhibition “Ansel Adams: An American Perspective” will feature nearly 60 examples of his work from 1920 through 1965, including notable highlights such as “Monolith, the Face of Half Dome,” “Yosemite National Park (1927),” “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico (1941)” and “Clearing Winter Storm, Yosemite Valley, California (1944).”

It’s intended to provide an overview of Adams’ life – from his early years when he discovered the beauty and solace of the American West with images of Sierra Nevada, Yosemite Valley and Glacier National Park, to his later portraits of close friends and fellow artists. As the museum puts it, the exhibition “introduces lesser-known aspects of Adams’ work alongside his most celebrated images that, in the age of climate change and urban sprawl, continue to strike a chord in our collective awareness and satisfy our ideas of natural beauty.”

(top) Ansel Adams “Georgia O’Keeffe and Orville Cox, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona,” 1937; Ansel Adams “Alfred Stieglitz and Painting by Georgia O’Keeffe, An American Place, New York,” 1944Where Adams was inspired to investigate photography in his adolescence during a particularly inspirational trip to Yosemite and never lost his love for portraying the beauties of the natural landscape, Brett Weston was practically born with silver nitrate in his blood: his father was a renowned photographer (Edward Weston was a co-founder of San Francisco photography conclave Group f/64 with Adams), and from his earliest frames the younger Weston exhibited a knack for abstraction.

Like Adams, Weston began exploring photography in his teens. At the age of 13, he accompanied his father to Mexico, where he was exposed to the works of revolutionary artists like Diego Rivera and José Orozco, who influenced his sense of form and composition – this was the point at which he began taking his own photographs using his father’s camera. He began to exhibit his own works and received international attention after being included in an important German exhibition, eventually exhibiting in Group f/64 alongside his father and Adams himself. Though Weston preferred close-ups to panoramic vistas, he did share with his pioneering predecessor an appreciation for the importance of the individual in the medium’s success: Weston said that “The camera for an artist is just another tool. Beyond the rudiments, it is up to the artist to create art, not the camera.”

Throughout his career, on photographic trips across the country and the world, Weston repeatedly focused (so to speak) on natural subjects like tangled kelp, plant leaves and knotted roots. He exhibited in his craft a preference for high-contrast imagery, examining abstract form more often by concentrating on details – historian Beaumont Newhall credited him as the first artist to make negative space the subject of a photograph.

Concurrently with the Ansel Adams show, the OKC Museum of Art will present “Brett Weston: Land, Sea and Sky,” an exhibition celebrating a recent gift of 150 Weston photographs to the museum from Christian Keesee. That’s unquestionably a large number, but it represents only part of the total picture; since 2004, Keesee has donated a total of 360 photographs, transforming the museum into a major repository of Weston’s oeuvre.

This exhibition will include pieces dating from 1940 to 1985, mainly portraying mud, rock and ice abstractions, and will also feature examples highlighting the artist’s travels to far-flung worldwide locales like Baja California, Michigan, Florida, Alaska, Mexico and Japan.

(clockwise from top) Ansel Adams “Winter Sunrise, Sierra Nevada from Lone Pine, California,” 1944; Brett Weston, “Untitled [broken glass]” 1954; Brett Weston, “Untitled [dead leaf, Hawaii]” ca. 1985


COMING INTO FOCUS

The dual exhibits “Ansel Adams: An American Perspective” and “Brett Weston: Land, Sea and Sky” will be on display March 15 through June 1 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 415 Couch Drive. For hours or more information, visit okcmoa.com or call 236.3100.

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A massive choral concert, the Garden Tour for Connoisseurs, a theatrical premiere from Lyric and the return of 6 Degrees of Bacon – there are all kinds of sources for entertainment and enlightenment in this bustling metro, so if you can’t make it to everything, here’s where to start.

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Although the pieces are small, the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s 12 x 12 Art Sale is big fun and a bigger vehicle for creative support.

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Calendar

April 2019

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
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Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

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Celebrate Easter with a trip to Andy Alligator’s Fun Park! On Saturday and Sunday, get $5 off an All-Day Pass with our Eggcellent Easter Special. All-Day Passes include Go-Karts,...

Cost: $23.95

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Pl
Norman, OK  73072
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Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

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The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
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Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

The OSU Symphony Orchestra will conclude the 2018-19 season with Schubert's monumental and majestic Symphony No. 9 in C ("The Great"). The concert opens with The European Anthem,...

Cost: General Admission: $10; Students & Seniors: $7

Where:
Oklahoma State University Department of Music
132 Seretean Ctr
Stillwater, OK  74078
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Sponsor: Oklahoma State University Department of Music
Telephone: 405.744.6133
Contact Name: Dr. Thomas Dickey
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The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Potbelly Sandwich Shop is giving back to the local neighborhood with Feed Your Smile, a fundraiser supporting Concordia Life Care Community.  Show this flyer on your smartphone or...

Cost: Free

Where:
Potbelly Sandwich Shop
8500 N Rockwell Ave
OKC, OK  73132
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Sponsor: Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Telephone: 405-792-5112
Contact Name: Katy Fabrie
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The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

"Deliberately silencing the internal chatter and not overthinking. Conscious, but not over-trying. With this approach, things just seem to happen—it’s where all the substance is...

Cost: Free

Where:
Individual Artists of Oklahoma
706 W. Sheridan Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: Individual Artists of Oklahoma
Telephone: 405.412.2541
Contact Name: David Smith

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Shop over 200 vendors at this indoor event with everything from vintage furniture, retro and mid-century decor to handmade goods, antiques, industrial finds and architectural salvage!

Cost: $5 at the door, 13 and under free

Where:
Heritage Place
2829 S. MacArthur
Oklahoma City, OK  73128
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Sponsor: Junk Hippy
Contact Name: Kristen Grandi
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A Sporting Chance will host the 25th annual Track and Field Meet at Branson Junior High in Branson, Missouri. A Sporting Chance provides year-round sports and recreation programs designed for those...

Where:
Branson Junior High
263 Buccaneer Boulevard
Branson, MO  65616
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Sponsor: A Sporting Chance
Telephone: 404-314-2188
Contact Name: Hannah Schachinger

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RexFest will feature an interactive art exhibit called a luminarium created by Architects of Air. From April 25-28, visitors can walk through the inflatable sculpture, which disperses light and...

Cost: $8 for kids; $10 for adults; $30 for families of four

Where:
Together Square
400 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Sponsor: Delta Dental

More information

This one-day festival is rooted in the printing of large-scale woodblocks carved by local Oklahoma artists. We bring in a 5-ton steamroller and print pre-carved blocks throughout the day on Tyvek...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Contact Name: Evan
Website »

More information

Men and women from across the American West played critical roles - both “over there” and on the home front - in helping the Allies win World War I. The National Cowboy & Western...

Cost: $12.50

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 Northeast 63rd Street
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Telephone: 405.478.2250
Contact Name: Jenni
Website »

More information

The Annual Mentorship Exhibition features pieces from Oklahoma City high school students that visit the Artspace studio each month. Throughout the duration of the program, the students engage with...

Cost: Free

Where:
Artspace at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Sponsor: Artspace at Untitled
Telephone: 405-815-9995
Website »

More information

Andy Alligator's is celebrating teachers! On Saturday and Sunday, teachers with a valid ID will receive a FREE All-Day Pass and $5 off for each family member! An All-Day Pass includes...

Cost: Teachers receive a FREE All-Day Pass; family members get $5 off

Where:
Andy Alligator's Fun Park & Water Park
3300 Market Pl
Norman, OK  73072
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America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: $59.95

Where:
The Skirvin Hilton
1 Park Ave
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
Website »

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Get a sample of the nightlife of Spain at Tulsa Botanic Garden's "Viva La Vida." The Garden is bringing star chef Jamie Bissonnette (Toro restaurants in Boston, NYC, Bangkok and...

Cost: $250

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Dr
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

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2nd annual gathering of "The Big Lebowksi" fans at The Dude Abides OKC All Oklahoma City Urban Achievers, Abiders and Coen Brothers fans are invited to join us at Fassler Hall OKC and...

Cost: Free, contests have entry fee

Where:
Fassler Hall
421 NW 10th
Oklahoma City, OK  73103
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Sponsor: Revolve Productions
Telephone: 405.810.6977
Contact Name: Tobi Coleman
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