Black and white photo of the Golden Gate before the bridge by Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams (American, 1902–1984), The Golden Gate Before the Bridge, 1932. Photograph, gelatin silver print. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Lane Collection, SC69746. ©️ The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Ansel Adams in Our Time

Looking forward and back, this exhibition of more than 100 works by photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams (1902 – 1984) places him in direct conversation with contemporary artists and the photographers who influenced him. Laid out in seven sections tracing Adams’s artistic development, the exhibition features some of his most-loved photographs, including images of Yosemite, San Francisco, and the American Southwest. Adams’s works are shown alongside prints by 19th-century landscape photographers, such as Carleton Watkins and Eadweard Muybridge, as well contemporary artists like Trevor Paglen, Will Wilson, and Catherine Opie. Their work engages anew with the sites and subjects that occupied Adams throughout his life — from national parks to the use and misuse of natural resources. Adams’s legacy continues to inspire and provoke, influencing how we envision the landscape and serving as an urgent call to preserve our environment.

In the news

  • Breathes unexpected life into Adams’s work. . . . Not only does the show remind us how much more there was to Adams than Half Dome, the Grand Canyon, and Cathedral Rocks, it makes a powerful case for his ongoing relevance by hanging his work together with a host of living photographers — all of them energetically engaged with his legacy.

    Sebastian Smee, The Washington Post



Photo contest

Thank you for your participation!

We received over 1,000 submissions to our Ansel Adams photo contest. Head to our Instagram @deyoungmuseum to see the winners and search #AnselingOutdoors to see all of the amazing entries.

Collection artworks


The following list includes opportunities to take action in solidarity with community-based and environmental organizations and initiatives. These resources include suggestions from our staff and are in alphabetical order.

More info


This exhibition is organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in partnership with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston logo

Support for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco’s presentation has been generously provided by

Presenting Sponsor
Clare C. and Jay D. McEvoy Endowment Fund

Lead Sponsors
Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund
San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums

Major Support
Byers Family
The Herbst Foundation, Inc.

Significant Support
The Ansel Adams Gallery
Dagmar Dolby
Jordan Schnitzer/The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation

Generous Support
David A. Wollenberg
Merrill Private Wealth Management

Additional Support is provided by Randi and Bob Fisher, Cheryl Frank and Michael Linn, and Georgia and Alan Rittenberg.

Currently on view