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WSP 372 — The Making of a Modernist: The Photography of Ansel Adams

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Saturday
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 1 day
Date(s): Sep 28
Time: 11:00 am—4:00 pm
Drop Deadline: Sep 21
Unit: 0
Grade Restriction: NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Tuition: $235
Instructor(s): Diane Zuliani
Limit: 30
11:00 am—4:00 pm
Sep 28
1 day
Drop By
Sep 21
0 Unit
Grade Restriction
NGR only; no credit/letter grade
Diane Zuliani
Many thousands of landscape photographers have tested their skill and artistry upon nature’s beauty, often with striking results. Why, then, do Ansel Adams’s images dominate the realm of the photographed landscape, even today, half a century after they were made? The answer lies in the artist’s obsessively made prints, which give viewers a genuinely unmatched experience. In this workshop, students will learn about Ansel Adams’s artistry and see it for themselves, by studying original prints in the Cantor Art Museum’s “West x Southwest: Edward Weston and Ansel Adams” exhibition.

The workshop will begin with an in-class presentation that gives shape to the man, from his inauspicious student days, to his early soft-focus photography, to his life-changing introduction through Edward Weston to Straight Photography. We will learn about Adams’s personal desire to eradicate chance along the path from exposure to print, and explore his solutions for overcoming it, including “visualization” and his famous Zone System. After the in-class portion, we will move to a two-hour guided walk through the Cantor’s photography galleries, viewing Adams’s original handwork alongside that of Weston. Here we will see how, using eternal, unchanging nature as his subject, Adams incisively and poetically manifested his—and his entire era’s—tectonic shift from Victorian to Modern values.

Diane Zuliani, Art History Instructor, Chabot College

Diane Zuliani has taught the history of art, photography, and museum studies at Chabot College since 2000. Earlier, she was an educator at the J. Paul Getty Museum, where she lectured on the Getty’s regularly changing exhibits of its photography collection. Recently she has taught at the Crocker Art Museum.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.