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Ansel Adams' Vacation Photos
TELEGRAM & GAZETTE (Massachusetts)

Mr. Jareckie said his research showed Adams enjoyed the journey and that he shot many rolls of film. The proofs in the exhibition were selected from a set of 105 gelatin-silver proof prints, now owned by the estate of Sarah Sage McAlpin.

"Presumably, the prints were enlarged from the negatives by Adams after he returned home," Mr. Jareckie said. "He then gave them to McAlpin."

Sarah Sage McAlpin inherited the proofs from her husband on his death in 1989. When she died in 2001, the proofs were conveyed to her estate.

Mr. Jareckie said in viewing the proofs he could tell that although the men had a good time, they also used the trip as an opportunity to use their photographic skills. He said most of the photographs were made with McAlpin's Zeiss Super Ikonta BX, a folding viewfinder camera. Adams also brought along a 4-inch-by-5-inch camera.

Although the images that Adams took are interesting, Mr. Jareckie said just as interesting is seeing another side of Adams - that is, Adams on vacation.

"There's one photograph of him, with his camera slung over his head, the yacht's out in open water, and he's mugging it up for McAlpin," Mr. Jareckie said.

There are photographs of Adams taking photographs; one taken by McAlpin shows Adams at the schooner's masthead.

"From that high vantage point, he took a bird's-eye view of the lock and surrounding countryside, a la Maholy-Nagy," Mr. Jareckie said. Laszlo Maholy-Nagy (1895-1946) was a painter, photographer and professor at the Bauhaus School. He is known for championing, among other concepts, the use of unexpected vantage points.

"Adams kept up with trends in photography," Mr. Jareckie said.

Another image Adams took shows the lock wash at South Mills Lock, N.C. "It's an abstract. Now who was doing this type of abstract work in 1940? Adams was, that's who," Mr. Jareckie said.

Mr. Jareckie said he would like viewers to approach the exhibition from the standpoint of offering a glimpse into the life of a man whose work has become so influential. In this regard, it is similar to another exhibition of never-before-shown Adams photographs held at the museum in 2003. That exhibition involved recently discovered photographic proofs of a camping trip in the Southwest with Adams, McAlpin and their friend Georgia O'Keeffe.

"Ansel Adams in the East: Cruising the Inland Waterway in 1940"

From now through June 3 at the Fitchburg Art Museum, Merriam Parkway, Fitchburg.

The museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Admission: adults, $7; students age 13 and older and seniors, $5; children age 12 and younger, free.

The museum is wheelchair-accessible. For more information, call (978) 345-4207, or visit