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This article was prepared for the March 31, 2004

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Robert Adams Looks Westward

"Robert Adams: From the Missouri West," currently at the Princeton University Art Museum, is the first exhibition of a group of recently acquired photographs selected from this acclaimed 1980 publication. Associate curator of photography Toby Jurovics gives gallery talks on Friday, April 2, at 12:30 p.m., and again on Sunday, April 4, at 3 p.m.

After gaining wide notice for his photographic exploration of the suburbs surrounding Denver and Colorado Springs, Adams turned his camera to the open spaces that had met the West’s first explorers and settlers. No longer untouched or heroic, however, "From the Missouri West" traces more than a century of impact and abuse that has extended to nearly every corner of a land that had once seemed limitless.

"This is exemplary group of images captures Adams reaching his maturity as a photographer and a printmaker, and is arguably his most influential body of work," says Jurovics. "We are offered a landscape that is often spare and depressing, one that will not allow for the dramatic gesture, and yet these prints reveal a sense of light and careful observation that remind us not just of what has been lost, but that discovery is still possible."

Adams’ photographs will be exhibited along with several recent acquisitions by William Bell, Timothy H. O’Sullivan, and A.J. Russell, who were among the 19th-century landscape photographers that Adams looked to for insight and inspiration when he began "From the Missouri West."

This major acquisition of 28 photographs, 25 of which are on view, joins a substantial body of Adams’ work already in the museum’s collection, surveying the artist’s career from 1968 through 1999. The exhibition remains on view through June 6.

The Art Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. It is closed on Monday and major holidays. Highlights tours of the collection are given every Saturday at 2 p.m. Admission is free. For information, call 609-258-3788, or visit www.princetonartmuseum.org.


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