Ansel AdamsAmerican (San Francisco, California, 1902 - 1984, Carmel, California)
In 1933 Ansel Adams traveled to New York for the first time. His primary mission was to show his photographs to Alfred Stieglitz at Stieglitz's gallery, An American Place. While in the city, Adams visited other galleries as well, including the Delphic Studios. Established by Alma Reed, whose primary interest was promoting Latin American art, the Delphic Studios was one of the first art galleries in New York to feature modernist photography.
During that trip, Adams also met the Mexican painter José Clemente Orozco, whose work Reed vigorously represented. Although Adams found the painter to be good natured, he thought Orozco's glasses made him appear menacing, like "some slightly wrathful Mayan God," an effect accentuated in this photograph by the close proximity of the painter's face to Adam's camera. Unbeknownst to Adams, Edward Weston had made a strikingly similar portrait of the painter several years earlier.