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Vital Waters


White Gallery | June 5, 2021 - January 16, 2022


Ansel Adams (1902-1984),

Ernest H.(Ernie)Brooks II (1935-2020), Dorothy Kerper Monnelly

and also in VITAL WATERS

Scott Campbell, Chuck Davis, Ryuijie, Camille Lenore, and Robin V Robinson.

Curated by Jeanne Falk Adams 

To manifest the Earth’s spiritual splendor, Ansel Adams, Ernest Brooks, and Dorothy Kerper Monnelly, Scott Campbell, Chuck Davis, Ryuijie Douglas, Camille Lenore, and Robin V Robinson immerse us in beauty. As John Szarkowski said of Ansel Adams, Americans “sensed that he believed in something that they believed in; not the high sentiment of conservation, or the science of ecology, or the art of photography, but the deeply romantic idea that the great vistas and microcosmic details of the wilderness could be seen as metaphor for freedom and heroic aspiration." These photographers share their devotion and lived-knowledge of known and beloved places. Shaped by living on America’s coasts, their juxtaposed images reveal an art that is both personal and political, motivated by love of family and community, expressed through a celebration of nature.


About the Curator: 

Jeanne Falk Adams is former CEO of The Ansel Adams Gallery in Yosemite National Park, a family business of 104 years. Through her 25 years with the gallery, she designed and directed photography exhibitions, symposia, and workshops. Her expertise in the field has made her a much-sought-after reviewer, juror, lecturer, and advocate for creative photography. She is also one of the rare individuals to have viewed every reproduction print of Ansel Adams’ expansive collection.

She holds a Master of Arts in Education from Stanford University, and a BA in History from California State University, Fresno. Adams has served on the boards of art museums and higher education institutions and been actively involved in environmental activities. She has been a trustee with the University of California Press Foundation and the Central California Futures Institute. She also has been a board member of the University of California, Merced. She was a member and community liaison for the State of California Resources Agency’s Steering Committee of the Sierra Summit, serving as a key contact for scientists researching for the Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project. She is a recipient of the Kappa Kappa Gamma National Alumni Award for her lifetime of dedication to the arts, humanities, environment, public housing and education.

Adams’s long involvement in environmental issues has convinced her that aesthetics, and black-and-white photography in particular, can alert, inspire, communicate, and motivate. Based on this premise, Jeanne took on the formidable task of curating Vitals Waters , a subject matter close to her heart and beliefs.

Curator’s Statement

As curator of Vital Waters I began with the concept of beauty engaging the viewer and selected images from my father-in-law Ansel Adams, from Ernest H. Brooks II, and from Dorothy Kerper Monnelly that told a story about water, unspoiled land and waterscapes.

My personal energy in Vital Waters is a deeply held belief that everyone is to be respected for his individual perspective, and that with urbanization worldwide we move away from natural beauty so important for our psychological and spiritual balance and harmony. Beauty is one of those links. Black-and-white photography is classic and allows connection in individual ways. When life gets out of balance, inspiration can come from sources that engage feelings and love. I believe that water is so crucial, in all its force, wonder, and necessity for life, that an exhibition in which sensitive artists interpret water in environments they love can begin to shift that zeitgeist. Honoring downstream users becomes real.

Special events:

Friday, June 4, 2021 | 6-9pm | 49th Anniversary Gala

Tickets available at

Saturday, June 5, 2021 Coffee with the Curator | 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM  | Helen Thatcher White Gallery

Free with limited seating.  Coffee and patries served.  

For more information contact Member and Guest Services at 719.295.7200


NOTE: Details subject to change.