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Captions throughout, Adams's own: The Brown Derby on Wilshire Boulevard
All photos from the Los Angeles Public Library Ansel Adams Photo Collection
Legendary photographer Ansel Adams (1902 to 1984) is best known for his images of rural grandeur including iconic shots of Yosemite. But now some 1940s pictures of a Los Angeles in its infancy have surfaced, and they're as resonant as Adams's postcard-adorning peaks.
The black-and-white images are from a 1940 photojournalism gig for Fortune magazine; Adams came to town to shoot an aviation industry that was ramping up production for WWII. But when the story was published, few shots were used. Later, Adams himself downplayed his work, saying that poor weather resulted in a lackluster shoot.
But we beg to differ, Mr. Adams. Some photos have a humble beauty--workers eating curbside lunches, friends at the Santa Monica pier--while others exude noir glamour--for example, bowling alley patrons lit like movie stars. The resulting images--silver gelatin prints from negatives transferred by Adams to the Los Angeles Public Library--are one part Chinatown, two parts Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.
We'll be sure to stop by the Drkrm Gallery for the first-ever show of the work, which runs from tomorrow through March 17.
Drkrm Gallery, 727 S. Spring St.; 323-271-5635 or drkrm.com
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