For photographs of Angelenos that make more of an emotional connection with the viewer, I nominate Adams' 1943 images from the Manzanar War Relocation Center in the Owens Valley." /> Ansel Adams' 110th birthday - LA Observed

Ansel Adams' 110th birthday

Outdoor band concert at Manzanar

On Saturday evening I took in the new exhibit of local Ansel Adams photographs from his assignment for Fortune magazine in 1940. It was nice to see a selection on the wall after admiring them online (and writing about them) for several years. His faded letter offering the images to the Los Angeles Public Library is another reason to drop in at the drkrm gallery on Spring Street. Adams didn't think very highly of the photos, and let's be frank here, they are not up there with his wilderness and New Mexico images. But they do capture some moments in LA time that are pretty cool.

ansel+manzanar+calisthenics.jpgFor Adams photographs of Angelenos that make a more emotional connection with the viewer, I nominate his spare 1943 images of life for internees at the Manzanar War Relocation Center near Independence, in the Owens Valley about 250 miles north of Los Angeles. More than 200 images are gathered online by the Library of Congress.

Adams's Manzanar work is a departure from his signature style landscape photography. Although a majority of the more than 200 photographs are portraits, the images also include views of daily life, agricultural scenes, and sports and leisure activities.

When offering the collection to the Library in 1965, Adams said in a letter, "The purpose of my work was to show how these people, suffering under a great injustice, and loss of property, businesses and professions, had overcome the sense of defeat and dispair [sic] by building for themselves a vital community in an arid (but magnificent) environment....All in all, I think this Manzanar Collection is an important historical document, and I trust it can be put to good use."

Manzanar was built, by the way, on land leased from the city of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

Adams was born in San Francisco on Feb. 20, 1902. He made his first trip to Yosemite in 1916. Adams died in Carmel on April 22, 1984.

Walking to school

More below.

Editor Roy Takeno and other men outside the Manzanar newspaper office

Playing volleyball

Street scene

Cemetery monument

Photographs by Ansel Adams/Ansel Adams's Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar

More by Kevin Roderick:
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Power out Monday across Malibu
Put Jamal Khashoggi Square outside the Saudi consulate on Sawtelle
Here's who the LA Times has newly hired*
LA Observed Notes: Clippers hire big-time writer, unfunny Emmys, editor memo at the Times and more
Recent Photography stories on LA Observed:
Album: Images from Alabama
A salute to Anacleto Rapping, photographer
Drone view: US Bank tower yoga
SebastiĆ£o Salgado on a life in photography
Women Look Out photography show
Photographer dies in Port of LA copter crash
Santa Monica High kid gets photo gig in NYT Magazine
Mary Decker and 'the perfect image of Olympic pain'


LA Observed on Twitter