Author(s): Mary Street Alinder
Group f.64 is perhaps the most famous movement in the history of photography, counting among its members Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Dorothea Lange, Willard Van Dyke, and Edward Weston. Revolutionary in their day, Group f.64 was one of the first modern art movements equally defined by women. From the San Francisco Bay Area, its influence extended internationally, contributing significantly to the recognition of photography as a fine art. The group-first identified as such in a 1932 exhibition-was comprised of strongly individualist artists, brought together by a common philosophy, and held together in a tangle of dynamic relationships. They shared a conviction that photography must emphasize its unique capabilities-those that distinguished it from other arts-in order to establish the medium's identity. Their name, f.64, they took from a very small lens aperture used with their large format cameras, a pinprick that allowed them to capture the greatest possible depth of field in their lustrous, sharply detailed prints. In today's digital world, these "straight" photography champions are increasingly revered. Mary Alinder is uniquely positioned to write this first group biography. A former assistant to Ansel Adams, she knew most of the artists featured. Just as importantly, she understands the art. Featuring fifty photographs by and of its members, Group f.64 details a transformative period in art with narrative flair.
An engaging, illuminating group biography of the photographers of the seminal West Coast movement-the first in-depth book on Group f.64.
Mary Street Alinder is an independent scholar specializing in twentieth-century photography. Alinder was chief assistant to Ansel Adams from 1979 until his death. She helped complete his autobiography, wrote his definitive biography, and coedited Ansel Adams: Letters and Images. She has lectured and curated exhibitions worldwide, including a 2002 Adams Centennial exhibition and a Group f.64 show at the de Young Museum to coincide with publication of this book. She lives in Northern California.