"Ansel Adams and the Photographers of the West” opens Feb. 1 at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art

OKLAHOMA CITY - Through 46 richly detailed prints, “Ansel Adams and the Photographers of the West” tells the story of one of America’s most influential and well-known photographers who spent his life capturing the beauty of the West. His style and passion influenced both his contemporaries and the following generation of photographers, 12 of which – including Edward Weston, Brett Weston, Eliot Porter and Laura Gilpin – are featured in this exhibition.

“Presenting the wilderness of the West as a place to protect in all its beauty, Adams was the visual artist who pioneered what is now known as the modern environmental movement,” said Francesca Giani, curator of modern and contemporary art. “Adams saw the American wilderness as a remedy to the chaos of urban life. He relied on photography to depict well-frequented tourist areas as pristine wildernesses, to be protected for the benefit of humanity. He also played an important role in the growth of the Sierra Club and led numerous campaigns, lobbying tirelessly for the protection of the environment.”

The artists featured in this exhibition followed Adams’ example and developed personal bonds with America’s wild places. Each relied on photography to convey a distinct vision of the land. Their work showcases the natural beauty of our nation’s parks and nature captured throughout California, Washington, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.

The exhibition features seven gelatin silver prints by Adams, including favorites “Moon and Half Dome,” “Mount Williamson, Sierra Nevada, from Manzanar, California” and “El Capitan, Winter Sunrise, Yosemite National Park, California.” Additionally, the show includes a significant portion of Brett Weston’s “White Sands” portfolio and Porter’s “Glen Canyon” portfolio.

“Ansel Adams and the Photographers of the West” will be open on the second floor of the Museum through May 26. The Museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Public tours will be offered Feb. 10, March 16, April 18 and May 12. The February and March tours have already sold out. Pre-registration for the April and May tours is recommended. The exhibition also serves as inspiration for the Museum’s April Third Thursday event, Black & White, on April 18, from 5 to 9 p.m.