Exhibition: May 24 – June 30, 2012
In 1940 Los Angeles had a population of 1.5 million. The cost of gas was 10 cents and a new car was $700. The U.S. began rearming for World War II and the prestigious Ansel Adams was commissioned by Fortune Magazine to photograph a series of images for an article covering the aviation industry in the Los Angeles area. For the project, Adams took over 200 black & white photographs showing everyday life, businesses, street scenes and a variety of other subjects. But when the article, City of the Angels, appeared in the March 1941 issue, only a few of the images were included (a copy of the original magazine will be on display at the gallery). In the early 1960s Adams rediscovered the photographs among papers at his home in Carmel and donated them to the Los Angeles Public Library. He wrote in a letter: “The weather was bad over a rather long period and none of the pictures were very good… I would imagine that they represent about $100.00 minimum value… At any event, I do not want them back.” But as many critics will agree, sometimes an artist is not always the best judge of their own work.