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October 3, 2012

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that 605 signed Ansel Adams prints were recently found at the Bancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley and are currently on exhibit.


In 1964, University of California President Clark Kerr hired Ansel Adams to photograph the UC system. What the visionary Kerr had in mind was an elegant and oversize table book to celebrate the centennial of the university, in ‘68. What Kerr did not have in mind was that Gov. Ronald Reagan would fire him before the celebration could begin.

The picture book came and went quietly and would have ended up in obscurity if a theater and dance professor named Catherine Cole had not been nosing through documents that have nothing to do with the classes she teaches in performance art.

“I kept seeing the name Ansel Adams and thought ‘what the heck is he doing all over the UC archives,’ ” says Cole, who followed this lead to the Bancroft Library, where 605 signed fine prints by Adams sat in a box, among the university’s rare collections…

Above are a few of our favorites from the collection, Fiat Lux Redux: Ansel Adams and Clark Kerr.

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