Eye on the wild: a story about Ansel Adams by Julie Dunlap

By Julie Dunlap


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A book of these photographs, Born Free and Equal, was published in 1944. " Some parents whose sons had died in battle wrote Ansel furious letters, and copies of the book were publicly burned. Although pained by such reactions, Ansel remained proud of his book. The camps, however, were not closed until the war ended in 1945. When soldiers returned from the war, many families built new houses, bought new cars, and went on vacations. More forests than ever were being cut down for lumber and more rivers dammed for electricity.

Virginia, who usually went along, stayed in Yosemite at her father's studio because she was expecting their first child. Concerned about his wife, Ansel hiked home a day early. There, in a Yosemite Valley hospital, the happy father met his new son, Michael. When the Ansel Adams Gallery opened a month later, hundreds came to see the exhibits. Crowds also visited later shows of paintings, sculptures, and Ansel's own photographs. But Ansel needed to sell the art to earn money, and few visitors could afford to buy during the depression.

Ansel wanted to reach still more people. He and Nancy decided to turn the exhibit into a book. Even as they returned to work, tourists were flooding into the national parks, and Ansel was worried. Page 54 Page 55 A new ten-year National Park Service plan called for the building of additional roads, picnic grounds, parking lots, outdoor theaters, ranger stations, and bathroomsall to invite more tourists. At Yosemite, the National Park Service was planning to widen and straighten an old mining road so that visitors could speed from the valley into the high country.

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