Centre for Fine Print Research University of the West of England Centre for Fine Print Research

Dr Anne Hammond

Visiting Research Fellow

Anne Hammond portrait picture

A photographic historian Anne Hammond undertakes research projects that interpret the work of major photographers. In 2001, Anne held an honorary research fellowship at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Research Center to pursue research into the points of contact between the work of the painter Georgia O’Keeffe and the photographer Ansel Adams, in view of the close relationship they both had with the photographic artist Alfred Stieglitz (O’Keeffe’s husband and Adams’s mentor) and their shared interest in the spiritual in art.

The research resulted in an invitation to guest-curate an exhibition of the two artists’ work. In 2002 Anne held a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution to study the massive Osborne Collection in the National Museum of American History, with its many thousands of examples of nineteenth-century processes of photomechanical reproduction. It culminated in a talk given to the staff of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division on a rare 1938 publication by Ansel Adams, Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail. The research laid the groundwork for an exhibition proposal on the reproduction of the continuous-tone photograph in the work of Ansel Adams, now accepted by the Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, for a forthcoming exhibition. Anne held an RCUK fellowship at the Centre for Fine Print Research 2005-2010 for a five year programme of research on the work of major photographers to shed light on the relationship between the history and aesthetic of the continuous-tone photographic image and the processes of printing in ink.

Her book Ansel Adams: Divine Performance, the first scholarly work on Adams to discuss his photographic career in its full art historical context, was published by Yale University Press in May 2002. Chapters include discussions of the spiritual background to Adams’s early career; his life as a mountaineer in the Sierra Nevada; the ‘f/64 Group’ founded by Adams and Edward Weston and its objectivist aesthetic; his friendships with the artists of the Stieglitz circle in New York and later with photographer and mystic Minor White; the tradition of topographical landscape photography in Carlton Watkins and Eadweard Muybridge from which much of Adams’s work departs; Adams’s role in the evolution of the Sierra Club; and his conservationist book This Is the American Earth (1959), drawing upon the process philosophy of A. N. Whitehead.

Her research also includes a study of the influence of Whistler's tonalism and the British Impressionist/Naturalist aesthetic of the New English Art Club, as promoted by the photographic critic P.H. Emerson, on turn of the century photographers such as Coburn, Steichen and Annan, with particular reference to their treatment of colour in the autochrome.

Anne has curated several internationally important exhibitions, ‘Ansel Adams at Manzanar’, for the Honolulu Academy of Arts in Hawaii (7 September-29 October 2006), travelling to the Japanese American National Museum (12 November 2006-11 February 2007), featuring portraits of Japanese Americans who were interned by the American government in the relocation camp of Manzanar during World War II. An Illustrated catalogue was published to accompany the exhibition Ansel Adams at Manzanar, Honolulu: Honolulu Academy of Arts, 2006 (ISBN 0-937426-74-1). Further research on the subject has been published in a longer academic article by Anne Hammond, ‘Ansel Adams at Manzanar War Relocation Center, 1943-44’ in the journal History of Photography (vol.30, no.3) in the fall of 2006.

Anne also guest-curated a major exhibition, ‘Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities’, for the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fé, New Mexico, May 2008, and touring to the American Museum of Art in Washington, DC, the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Anne’s own photographs, which she makes collaboratively with her husband, the photohistorian Mike Weaver, have been produced as portfolios since 1989: The Garden (1989); The Embrace (1992); The Live Oak (2000); The Ampersand (2000); The Stone (2003); and The Crucible (2009). Their photographs are held in the collections of the State of Hawaii Foundation on Culture and the Arts, the Honolulu Academy of Arts and the Princeton University Art Museum.