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Ansel Adams Murals in Wells Fargo Banking Stores

2019-03-21T22:36:33-08:00
Posted on March 5, 2019

Ansel Adams (1902-1984) was one of America’s best known photographers. His work captured the beauty and majesty of nature. More than just documentary photography, Adams’ artistic genius came from subject, composition, colored lens filters, and exacting printing technique.

Ansel Adams captures California's Giant Redwoods

Ansel Adams captures California’s Giant Redwoods

Wells Fargo and American Trust Company, two pioneer California banks, merged in 1960. In 1954, six years before the merger, American Trust marked its centennial. What better way to celebrate than to commission famed photographer Ansel Adams to capture the essence of his home state, and the land that American Trust had served for a century?

Lone Cypress by Ansel Adams

Lone Cypress by Ansel Adams

The result was The Pageant of History in Northern California, an award-winning volume of 57 Adams prints with historical text by Nancy Newhall. The book documented the history and natural landscape of Northern California, and presented a panorama of California in the 1950s. Adams described the style of the book as a personal approach, “one of dignity and poetic depth of feeling and form.”

The Pageant of History in Northern California is out of print. Single copies can be found at rare book dealers.

Ansel Adams - Yosemite Valley Winter, circa 1959

Ansel Adams – Yosemite Valley Winter

American Trust Co. planned to display Adams’ photographs as murals in its banking offices. Adams kept all negatives and personally supervised photo reproduction, to make certain light and tonality would be perfect. He selected negatives himself for the photomurals, which would be as large as 8 x 10 feet.

Through the 1950s and 1960s, Gabriel Moulin Studios in San Francisco printed the photos from sepia-toned strips on continuous rolls of paper. Two or three strips were used for each mural; stapled lengthwise, careful mounting made seams invisible.

Ansel Adams photography

American Trust Co. planned to display Adams’ photographs as murals in its banking offices. Adams kept all negatives and personally supervised photo reproduction, to make certain light and tonality would be perfect. He selected negatives himself for the photomurals, which would be as large as 8 x 10 feet.

Through the 1950s and 1960s, Gabriel Moulin Studios in San Francisco printed the photos from sepia-toned strips on continuous rolls of paper. Two or three strips were used for each mural; stapled lengthwise, careful mounting made seams invisible.

Ansel Adams photography

Ansel Adams photography

Printed in editions of six, these murals became the largest Ansel Adams photographs ever created. Wells Fargo Bank is proud to care for and present these magnificent Ansel Adams photomurals, which have delighted viewers for the past half century.

Wells Fargo Banking Store locations with Ansel Adams murals

Berkeley, California
Berkeley Main, 2144 Shattuck Ave
North Berkeley, 1800 Solano Ave
West Berkeley, 1095 University Ave
Elmwood Office, 2959 College Ave

Hayward, California
1172 ‘A’ Street

Mill Valley, California
18 Miller Avenue

San Carlos, California
632 Laurel Street

San Mateo, California
81 W. Hillsdale Blvd

Stockton, California
303 N. El Dorado

San Francisco, California
464 California Street

Walnut Creek, California
1499 N Main Street

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