Current Exhibitions

Ansel Adams: A Photographer’s Evolution
June 23–September 16, 2018 | Fifth Third Gallery

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, 1941. Photograph by Ansel Adams. Image courtesy of Collection Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona. ©The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

Ansel Adams’s breathtaking black-and-white photographs have become synonymous with the American wilderness. His best-known works express his experience in the heroic landscapes of the West: granite peaks rise triumphantly, light illuminates distant mountain ranges, rivers coil through vast expanses, and clouds swirl over the plains. Ansel Adams: A Photographer’s Evolution traces the photographer’s path to his signature style, beginning with rare early works and ending with prints Adams made late in life. In his earliest photographs, made in the 1920s, Adams embraced the prevailing Pictorialist style with intimately sized, soft-focused images. He shifted to sweeping, sharply focused views in the 1930s and ‘40s and to larger images with dramatic contrast after World War II. The exhibition concludes with a selection of late prints Adams made from earlier negatives that he considered some of his greatest works. Through iconic views and lesser-known subjects, Ansel Adams: A Photographer’s Evolution reveals Adams as a poet of light both in the field and in the darkroom.

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Eternal Blooms: Chinese Painted Enamels on Copper
March 2–June 24, 2018  | Sinton Gallery

Round Potpourri, 18th century, China, Qing dynasty (1644-1911), enamel on copper. Taft Museum of Art, Bequest of Compton Allyn, 2014.001.49

Celebrate springtime with a lavish array of brightly colored flowers, fruits, and insects, all found decorating small utilitarian objects such as plates, bowls, and boxes. In the 17th century, Jesuit missionaries exported the painted enamel technique, which originated in Limoges, France, to Chinese workshops in Beijing and Guangzhou. During the 18th century, Chinese enamellers illustrated auspicious symbols drawn from the natural world as wishes for happiness, abundance, and long life in a wide range of newly available pastel colors.

These rare and beautiful treasures are part of a generous bequest made in 2014 to the Taft Museum of Art from the late Reverend Compton Allyn, a collector and steadfast friend of the Taft. On view for the first time, this selection from his recent gift inaugurates a sequence of exhibitions to be held over the coming years, each of which will feature a different group of enamels.

View the Collection Connection.