Picture of Rebecca Senf

Made Local

Rebecca Senf

Presented as part of the 2020 PGH Photo Fair’s Lecture Series in partnership with Silver Eye Center for Photography and Carnegie Museum of Art


In her brilliant book, Dr. Rebecca Senf allows us to go beyond the pure beauty of Adams’s images. We are brought into a much-needed passion and complexity of his practice.


Making a Photographer: The Early Work of Ansel Adams is an unprecedented and eye-opening examination of the early career of one of America’s most celebrated photographers. 
One of the most influential photographers of his generation, Ansel Adams (1902–1984) is famous for his dramatic photographs of the American West. Although many of Adams’s images are now iconic, his early work has remained largely unknown. In this first monograph dedicated to the beginnings of Adams’s career, Rebecca A. Senfchief curator at the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, argues that these early photographs are crucial to understanding Adams’s artistic development and offer new insights into many aspects of the artist’s mature oeuvre. 
Drawing on copious archival research, Senf traces the first three decades of Adams’s photographic practice—beginning with an amateur album made during his childhood and culminating with his Guggenheim-supported National Parks photography of the 1940s. Highlighting the artist’s persistence in forging a career path and his remarkable ability to learn from experience as he sharpened his image-making skills, this beautifully illustrated volume also looks at the significance of the artist’s environmentalism, including his involvement with the Sierra Club. 



Copies of Making a Photographer: The Early Work of Ansel Adams will be available for sale from White Whale Bookstore.

Book Cover for Making a Photographer: The Early Work of Ansel Adams


Wednesday, September 23, 2020


Virtual Event
Free, with registration
Closed captioning is available


Upcoming Lectures

Jan Beatty


Colm Toibin

SEP 16

Pico Iyer

SEP 30

Victoria Chang

OCT 24