Fiat Lux: The University of California


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ADAMS, Ansel and NEWHALL, Nancy. Fiat Lux: The University of California. New York: McGraw-Hill, (1967). Slim folio, original blue cloth, original dust jacket. Original folio photographic greeting card and envelope.

First edition of this centennial history of the University, with more than 100 rich photogravures documenting university life, inscribed on the half title in the year of publication, “For Jehanne and Jerry, Love, Ansel Adams, December 10, 1967.” Accompanied by Virginia and Ansel Adams’ folio-sized 50th wedding anniversary thank you card (1978), containing a brilliant photogravure of his famous “Monolith, the Face of Half Dome,” in original mailing envelope.

"Adams photographed landscapes with razor-sharp precision and an incomparable eye for the structure and detail of his chosen subject matter… He elevated the act of photography to a religious experience" (Icons of Photography, 96). This work was commissioned in observance of the 100th anniversary of the University of California. "Fiat Lux celebrates that event with a perceptive, artistic statement about the University itself, and about its reach into the lives and surroundings of the people it serves… Created by other men, pictures may speak 1,000 words; by Ansel Adams they sing songs." See McDarrah, 3. The recipient of this inscribed copy was art and music critic Jehanne Bietry Salinger Carlson, Pierre Salinger's mother. She was at one time director of the art and music section of the San Francisco Works Progress Administration, for which some of Adams' early photographs of the American wilderness were originally taken.

Book and card fine. Moderate edge-wear to original dust jacket. A near-fine inscribed copy.

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