My birthday is in mid-July and this year’s was looking to be just a ho-hum day. No trips to tropical islands planned, not even a quick trip to the beach possible for this hot, sunny Monday. Not wanting to let the day pass without something to remember it by, I decided to drag my kids to a photo exhibit I had been wanting to see for over a year – The Ansel Adams Collection at The Wilderness Society in Washington, D.C.
Living in the D.C. area, we are blessed with a plethora of things to do and see, most of which we never take advantage of. Having grown up in northeastern Pennsylvania with nothing but cornfields, coal mines and beautiful mountains dotting the landscape, you would think I would be eager to soak up all the Baltimore-Washington area has to offer! I AM, but somehow daily life takes up the days and we rarely venture out of our neighborhood. I didn’t want my birthday to be just another one of those unremarkable days and since it was MY day, my kids pretty much had to do what I wanted, even if it was educational.
So off we went! I drove downtown, which is a rather new thing for me, to 1615 M Street, NW without difficulty. We found metered parking right along M Street less than a block from our destination. The gallery is easy to find, just to the right as you enter the building and admission is free. Be sure to visit during the week, though, as it is not open on weekends. You can find more details on The Wilderness Society’s Vistor’s Information Page.
The collection holds 88 original signed Ansel Adams landscapes, 75 of which were donated to the Society by Adams himself before his death in 1984. To be able to examine original prints closely and see where they were dodged and burned made me appreciate more what an artist he was. And asking my children to spend a few minutes to choose their favorite caused them to slow down and appreciate a time when photography was not as technologically easy as it is today. If you happen to live in the D.C. area, or are visiting for a few days, stopping in to see the Ansel Adams Collection is well worth it for anyone with an appreciation for photography or the great outdoors!