Write Around PAM: Ansel Adams

The Tetons and the Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, Ansel Adams, gelatin silver print. A landscape photograph showing the jagged peaks of the Grand Teton mountain range as a backdrop to the sharply curved Snake River in the foreground. The mountains begin a third of the way down from the top and stretch across the width of the photo. Snow-covered, jagged peaks overlap against a dramatic sky of clouds with sun breaking through. Below the mountains, low rolling hills meet the S curved river seen emerging from the vegetation at the center right. The river crosses diagonally to the left and switches back to the right at the bottom of the work. Steep scrub covered hills rise from the river edge at left. Low lying trees and vegetation fill in the right of the photo, while evergreen trees are seen at the bottom in the foreground.
Ansel Adams, The Tetons and Snake River, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming, 1942 Photograph, gelatin silver print. 2018.2733. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The Lane Collection. © The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

How do you feel when you look at this photograph of the Grand Tetons and the Snake River? Today and over the coming months, our Write Around PAM prompts will take inspiration from the Ansel Adams in Our Time exhibition currently on view at the museum. Adams took breathtaking landscape photographs of the American West, transporting viewers to sweeping vistas. Take a look at this landscape, and then close your eyes and take a deep breath. What do you notice in your body? What part of this photograph can you still see in your mind? What stays with you? Have you been able to visit the Grand Tetons? If so, what do you remember about them? If not, does this image remind you of another place you’ve been? We invite you to take some time today to write a bit, holding the energy and bountiful beauty of this photograph and this place in mind. 

We have two prompts to help you get started. As always, you can use one, both, or write whatever else comes. Just set a timer for 9 minutes and keep your pen or pencil moving.

A bend in the river… / The mountains rose…

Writing in community is powerful. We are grateful to our longtime partner Write Around Portland for the writing prompts and inspiration. You can revisit past Sunday posts and look for continuing weekly posts through the summer, with a focus on Ansel Adams in Our Time during May, June, and July. Please share your work with us! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM 

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