Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams, Moon and Half Dome, 1960, Silver gelatin print, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2011.2, Purchase through the Art Resource Trust.

Ansel Adams’s life was, in his words, “colored and modulated by the great earth gesture” of the Yosemite Sierra. He spent substantial time there every year from 1916 until his death in 1984. From his first visit, Adams was transfixed and transformed. He began using the Kodak No. 1 Box Brownie that his parents had given him. In 1919 he joined the Sierra Club and spent the first of four summers in Yosemite Valley. The Sierra Club was vital to Adams’s early success as a photographer. His first published photographs appeared in the Sierra Club’s 1922 Bulletin, and he had his first one-man show in 1928 at the club’s San Francisco headquarters.

In 1927, he made what is considered his first fully visualized photograph, Monolith, the Face of Half Dome and in 1932, he had his first one-man exhibition at San Francisco’s DeYoung Museum. That year he and contemporary Edward Weston founded the renowned Group f/64, which brought the new West Coast vision of straight photography to national attention and influence. Adams is often revered as the last and defining figure in the romantic tradition of 19th century American landscape painting and photography

Julio Antonio

The focus of much of Antonio’s work in the 1980s and 1990s was study of modern Cuban history. Though he did not leave Cuba until 1985, he is as bitter as the earlier exile. His painting is openly political.

In this painting, the “bearded tyrant” lies within the “Pandora’s Box” which sits on an island. Surrounding the island is a body of water with skeletal figures. At the outer ring are the gods of Santeria, the Afro-Cuban religion of much of Cuba, who have been symbolically distanced from the island as a result of Castro’s policies.


Richard Anuszkiewicz

Richard Anuszkiewicz (pronounced Aah-nuss-KAY-vitch) was one of the founders of the Op Art movement during the late 1960s and 70s. Op Art is characterized by the use of formal elements like line and contrasting colors to create illusory compositions. These abstract artworks often move or vibrate optically. Anuszkiewicz is interested in the effects of complimentary colors as they are applied in patterns within the same geometric shape. His experiments with color were originally inspired by the color theorist Josef Albers, with whom Anuszkiewicz studied during the early 1950s.

Richard Anuszkiewicz, Blue Tinted Star, 1991, Lithograph/serigraph, Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 1993.10, Graphicstudio Subscription Purchase through Kent Harrison Memorial Acquisition Fund.


Arakawa Takeo is the first son of Arakawa Toyozo (1894-1985), who was instrumental in rediscovering the Momoyama period kiln sites that produced Shino ware, and succeeded in recreating the characteristic luscious Shino glaze, the technique for which had been forgotten. Arakawa continues his father's passion for various traditional styles of tea wares.

Source: Art Gallery of New South Wales,

Connie Arismendi

Connie Arismendi is a nationally recognized sculptor and installation artist living and working in Austin, TX. She is known for innovative public art projects, from large-scale architectural installations to freestanding sculptures that combine a wide variety of materials.

She received a BFA from The University of Texas and an MFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her artwork is shaped by the profound emotional and intellectual concepts of family, memory, and spirituality.

Zebedee "Z.B." Armstrong

American outsider artist known for his "doomsday calendars." In 1972, he claimed to be visited by an angel who warned him that the end of world was coming soon. Armstrong went on to construct almost 1,500 box calendars with the aim of trying to determine the exact date of the approaching doomsday. Many of the calendars are made of wood with clocks and dials, painted white and over-layered with grids or with text denoting the box's purpose.

Source: Christian Berst Gallery,

Alice Aycock

American sculptor, installation artist and printmaker whose constructions illuminate imagined or metaphysical ideas by describing them in a technical and architectural way.

Alice Aycock, How to Catch and Manufacture Ghosts, 1981, Photo-etching and watercolor (XVII/XXX), Polk Museum of Art Permanent Collection 2002.21.1, Gift of Norma Canelas and William D. Roth.