Skip to content

Discovering Ansel Adams

September 27, 2024–January 19, 2025

The Thomas R. Schiff Gallery (Gallery 234 & 235)
Ticketed. Free for Members. Save $2 when purchasing tickets online.
Adult tickets: $12 in-person, $10 online
Seniors, college students and children 6–17 years: $8 in person, $6 online
Children 5 years & under: free
Friends of Photography
Press Release

See the exhibition for free on Thursday nights from 5–8 p.m. and during Art After Dark on September 27 and October 25 from 5–9 p.m. FotoFocus passport holders have free entry from September 27–October 31.

Premiering at the Cincinnati Art Museum, Discovering Ansel Adams provides an unprecedented exploration of the early career of Ansel Adams (1902–1984), demonstrating how, between 1916 and the 1940s, Adams developed from a 14-year-old tourist with a camera into America’s most celebrated photographer. Drawn from the definitive Adams collection at the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, the exhibition brings together approximately 80 virtuosic photographs with unique ephemera including the artist’s handwritten correspondence, snapshots, personal possessions, and photographic working materials. Featured works range from small, one-of-a-kind photographs from Adams’s teenage years to jaw-dropping mural-sized prints of his most iconic mature views. Join the artist on his journey from teenage musician to young mountaineer, as he makes his first pictures at Yosemite, experiences the American Southwest, learns how to communicate with a broad national audience, and undertakes an epic quest to photograph America’s national parks. Along the way, discover how Ansel Adams became Ansel Adams.

Founded in 1975 by the President of University of Arizona and Ansel Adams, the Center for Creative Photography is one of the world’s finest institutions for the study of the history of photography, and a singularly important archive for Ansel Adams studies. Discovering Ansel Adams presents a rare opportunity to encounter the CCP’s Ansel Adams collection outside of Arizona.

Art After Dark

Friday, October 25, 5–9 p.m.
Details coming soon.


Organized by the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, with the support of The Museum Box.

Discovering Ansel Adams is a Featured Project in the 2024 FotoFocus Biennial: backstories. Now in its seventh iteration, the Biennial activates over 100 projects at museums, galleries, universities, and public spaces throughout Greater Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, and Northern Kentucky in October 2024—the largest of its kind in America. The backstories theme focuses on stories that are not evident at first glance. They offer context for what happened previously or out of view, providing narratives not yet told or presented from a new perspective. Once told, they shed light on current circumstances.

Fotofocus backstories Biennial Fotofocus Biennial


Support for this 2024 FotoFocus Biennial Featured Project was provided by FotoFocus.



Generous Exhibition Support provide by

AARP Cincinnati