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Ansel Adams: Early Works

Ansel Adams – photographer, musician, conservationist, naturalist, explorer, critic and teacher – was a giant in the field of landscape photography. This exhibition presents the work of iconic American photographer, Ansel Adams. His work can be viewed as the end of an arc of American art concerned with capturing the “sublime” in the unspoiled Western landscape: a tradition that includes several painters on view within the Biggs Museum including Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Cole. 

In addition, visit the museum’s galleries to see photographs from these important local collections:

The Frank E. Schoonover Archive featuring photographs this Brandywine School illustrator used to create works in the Biggs Museum’s collection;

The Stargatt Collection of Leonard C. Talley Stereoscopes highlighting this talented, but little known, 19th century photographer from northern Delaware;

The Sewell C. Biggs Archive documenting the Biggs Museum founder’s 1937 trip around the world.

As a bonus, get an up-close and personal look at cameras and tools photographers used during the early era of photography.

To accompany the exhibit, the Biggs is offering an audio guide filled with commentary. Those recordings can be accessed in this exhibit or by clicking here.

Scroll down to view exhibition programming.

Title: Aspens, Northern New Mexico, 1958 Photograph by Ansel Adams Reproduced by permission of the Trustees of The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. All Rights Reserved.

Event Programming

Pre-registration required for select events, as noted in the descriptions.

Read and Make Adventure Trail with Ansel Adams

Date: June 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th
Time: 10:30 – 11:30 p.m.
Cost: Free
To celebrate the Biggs’ exhibit of photography by Ansel Adams, we’ve partnered with the Dover Public Library for a story time and craft every Thursday morning in June. Each day starts at the Library where participants will hear a reading of a story related to Ansel Adams. The group will then take a short walk across the street to the Biggs for an Ansel Adams themed craft. Registration recommended. Spots fill up fast! Register Here

Event: Ansel Adams Artists’ Workshops: Step Outside the Studio

Dates: June 24th, July 9th, July 15th
Times: Varied
Cost: $25/$20 for members per workshop, additional park fees dependent on site

To join in on the adventurous spirit of Ansel Adams’ photography, the Biggs has collaborated with Delaware State Parks, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), and the Delaware National Estuarine Research Reserve (DNEER) to host a series of artist hikes in parks throughout the state. Every hike will be co-led by a park guide, who will provide information about each site, and a teaching artist who will offer instruction on creating landscapes art outdoors. Each event takes place in a different park and will highlight a different artistic medium. Participants can register for any or all of the dates and locations. Pre-Registration is required. 

Event details vary by site and will be emailed to registrants in a confirmation email. All participants must bring their own supplies and suggested supply lists will be emailed.

Location: The St. Jones Reserve, Dover, DE
Date: June 24th
Time: 8 – 10 a.m.
Cost: $25/$20 for members, no additional park fee
Medium: Watercolor
Instructor: Joshua Nobiling, Art Faculty at Wesley College
Total Hike Mileage: 3/4 Miles
Register Here

Location: White Clay Creek State Park, Newark, DE
Date: July 9th
Time: 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.
Cost: $25/$20 for members, additional park fees due to park upon arrival ($4 per day for DE tags, $8 per day for out-of-state vehicles, annual passes available and accepted)
Medium: iPhone Photography
Instructor: Karen Klinedinst, Landscape Photographer and Instructor
Total Hike Mileage: 3 miles
Register Here

Location: Cape Henlopen, Cape Henlopen, DE
Date: July 15th
Time: 8 – 10 a.m.
Cost: $25/$20 for members, additional park fees due to park upon arrival ($5 per day for DE tags, $10 per day for out-of-state vehicles, annual passes available and accepted)
Medium: Photography
Instructor: Carson Zullinger, professional photographer
Total Hike Mileage: TBD
Register Here

Member Event: Ansel Adams: Artist, Environmentalist, Romantic
Date: July 23rd
Time: 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Cost: Members Free with up to 4 prospective members, includes continental breakfast and drinks, Pre-Registration Required

Help the Biggs close our Ansel Adams exhibit with a panel that explores Adams through the lenses of photography, art history, the National Parks, and environmentalism. The panel will be led by the Superintendent of First State National Historic Park, Ethan McKinley and includes photographer and Ansel Adams’ scholar Carson Zullinger, University of Delaware’s Associate Professor of Geological Sciences Michael O’Neal, and Biggs Curator Ryan Grover. Pre-registration is required. Register Here