Ansel Adams to Edward Weston: Celebrating the Legacy of David H. McAlpin

Ansel Adams, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico 1941, printed 1943. Gelatin silver print, 30.7 x 41.2 cm. Gift of David H. McAlpin, Class of 1920 (x1971-202) © The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

This exhibition of approximately forty photographs celebrates the pioneering legacy of David H. McAlpin, Class of 1920, whose seminal gift to Princeton of more than five hundred photographs, beginning in 1971, made this one of the earliest museums to commit to photography as a fine art form. A friend to many midcentury artists and a champion of art museums, McAlpin brought a visionary impulse to his collecting and to his donation to Princeton. His 1971 gift included exceptional works by acclaimed historical photographers of the nineteenth and the early twentieth century, as well as works by those artists McAlpin had befriended in the decades before his gift—Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keeffe, Eliot Porter, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Weston, and Minor White. McAlpin further ensured serious engagement with the medium through an acquisitions fund and an endowed professorship in the Department of Art and Archaeology dedicated to the history of photography—the first in the nation.

Ansel Adams to Edward Weston: Celebrating the Legacy of David H. McAlpin has been made possible by support from the Bagley Wright, Class of 1946, Contemporary Art Fund, with additional support from the Partners and Friends of the Princeton University Art Museum.