Current guests at Sausalito’s Cavallo Point Lodge are resting and relaxing in the midst of 15 authentic images by one of America’s most renowned photographers—but it’s likely that visitors are not aware of their proximity to greatness. Tucked behind the environmentally sustainable resort’s acclaimed Mercantile gift shop is Cavallo Point’s Art Gallery—a small, yet atmospheric public space that has been the stage for works by such artistic luminaries as Imogen Cunningham and Ruth Asawa. And now, it’s the photography of Ansel Adams that takes the spotlight in this under-the-radar gem of a space.
The incredible Ansel Adams exhibition is a special curated show in conjunction with The G2 Gallery in Venice, CA (an award-winning nature and wildlife photography gallery that facilitates change by bringing attention to environmental issues through the persuasive power of photographic art), and Cavallo Point’s sister property, Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur. Exhibits at Cavallo Point’s Art Gallery change seasonally and typically feature local talent.
A born and raised San Franciscan, Ansel Adams fits the Gallery profile. Over the course of his long and storied career, Adams produced seven limited-edition portfolios, the first in 1948 and the last in 1976. He referred to the 90 total photographs as “an excellent cross section of my work.” Cavallo’s current showing of Portfolio Two, “The National Parks & Monuments,” features 15 photographs from the country’s national parks, reflecting Adams’ passion for preserving and protecting those areas for generations to come. (It is fitting that the exhibit takes place during this 100th anniversary year of our National Parks System.)
Portfolio 4, entitled “What Majestic World,” is on display at Post Ranch Inn. Dedicated to the memory of his Sierra Club friend, inventor and conservationist, Russell Varian, this portfolio expresses Varian’s appreciation of the mountains and wilderness. Varian’s widow Dorothy wrote the preface, explaining that the photos were selected to serve as interpretations of Varian’s character, as interpreted by Adams’ photos. The two resorts will trade exhibitions this fall.
Each portfolio is available for purchase: Portfolio Two is $125,000 with a percentage of the proceeds benefitting Turning Green and the Golden Gate Parks Conservancy. The mission of Golden Gate Parks Conservancy is to preserve the Golden Gate National Parks, enhance the park visitor experience, and build a community dedicated to conserving the parks for the future. Based in Marin, Turning Green is a student-led global movement devoted to education and advocacy around environmentally sustainable and socially responsible choices for individuals, schools, and communities. Portfolio Four is $120,000, with proceeds benefitting the Big Sur Land Trust and Ventana Wilderness Society.
Adams is considered one of the foremost figures in the history of American photography. He was a tireless promoter of his medium, and helped usher photography into the art world. Bay Area photographer John Andrew Murphy, whose work currently hangs in proximity to the Adams exhibit at Cavallo Point’s Art Gallery, credits Adams for his own interest in photography. “It’s an honor to have my work displayed in the same physical space as Adams’ work,” Says Murphy. “In addition to his photos and prints, Ansel also published books on his home-grown methodology for composition, exposing and printing black and white film and I use many of his concepts and workflows in my own black and white work. I am always considering and refining my own vision in the spirit of those of who came before. All photographers must have their own vision, and Ansel definitely had his.”