An iconic view of the American Western landscape by Ansel Adams on view at the MFA, Boston through Feb. 24.
An iconic view of the American Western landscape by Ansel Adams on view at the MFA, Boston through Feb. 24.

Ansel Adams, one of the 20th century's most well-known and respected photographers, stars in "Ansel Adams in Our Time," a new exhibit on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Dec. 13-Feb. 24. Adams, who lived from 1902 to 1984, is best-known for his black-and-white photographs of the American Western landscape, images that constitute an iconic visual legacy.

The exhibition invites viewers to see Adams' most well-known works through a contemporary lens that also connects him to his 19th-century predecessors. While crafting his own modernist vision, Adams was inspired by forerunners in government survey and expedition photography, such as Carleton Watkins and Eadweard Muybridge. And in some cases, he replicated their exact views of the Yosemite Valley, Canyon de Chelly and Yellowstone to produce images that would become emblematic of the country's national parks.

Several artists today, including Mark Klett, Trevor Paglen, Catherine Opie, Abelardo Morell, Victoria Sambunaris and Binh Danh, respond to Adams as he did to those who came before him. These contemporary artists are drawn not only to the same locations, but also to many of the themes central to his legacy: desert and wilderness spaces, Native Americans and the Southwest, and broader issues affecting the environment, such as logging, mining, drought and fire, development booms and busts, and urban sprawl.

Adams' stunning images were last on view at the MFA in a major exhibition in 2005. This new, larger presentation places his work in the context of the 21st century, with all that implies about the role photography has played -- and continues to play -- in our changing perceptions of the land. The Adams photographs in the exhibition are drawn from the Lane Collection, one of the largest and most significant gifts in MFA history.


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Art picks

Ceramic masterpieces

The Lacoste/Keane Gallery, Main Street, Concord, presents "Contemporary American Ceramics," an array of masterpiece works from the extensive collection of Halse and Alice North, art patrons and collectors from New York. It is on view through Jan. 5. The second part of the exhibition is on view Jan. 19-Feb. 16. The artworks collected by the Norths for many years are available for sale through the gallery or online. Visit for info.

Tasty shopping

Artists at the Brush Art Gallery and Studios on Market Street, Lowell, are cooking up a tasty weekend of holiday shopping Dec. 14-16. On Friday, it's "Soup & Shop Lunch," 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy complimentary warm soups and gifts from the heart as you sip and shop. A 10 percent discount on artwork from the studios is being offered during this event. The annual "Sugar and Spice Weekend" is on this Saturday and Sunday, from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. An array of homemade cookies will be offered to shoppers as they browse through the colorful Studio Gift Shop. Gift certificates are always available. Visit for details.

'Wonderful'-ly Bazaar

"It's a Wonderful Market" returns to Mill No. 5, 250 Jackson St., Lowell, on Saturday, Dec. 15, noon-5 p.m. You'll find two floors of vintage, handmade and artisanal holiday gifts, including pottery, candles, clothing, jewelry, photograph and more. The event is hosted by A Little Bazaar and Mill No. 5. More info on Facebook/It's a Wonderful Market.

AN UNCHARTED FIRST: Lowell's UnchARTed Gallery, 103 Market St., presents the "People's First Small Mall of Lowell" on Sunday, Dec. 16, 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Here you'll find 20 artisans, craftsmen, creative types and merchants assembling for a first-ever event. Lots of art, magic, books, apothecary items and more from local entrepreneurs will be available. Also on view are works by John Core Luebbers through Jan. 5. More info on UnchARTed Gallery's Facebook page.