“Certain Aspects of the American Dream in the Mid Nineteen Sixties” at the Richmond Art Center

BAY AREA PHOTOGRAPHY IS FLAILING around like a carp caught in the muddy pool of a drying stream. There is tremendous activity but little progress. We might—abruptly changing the metaphor—divide the photographers having one-man shows into two columns. As the leader of one column we see Ansel Adams, and at the head of the other we imagine the shade of the late Edward Weston. The photographers standing in the column behind Adams are older—many of them look like business or professional men on holiday costumed by Abercrombie and Fitch—but a few of them are obviously old-time naturalists. They carry scarred binoculars in addition to their cameras, or a few weeds they plan to identify with their dog-eared copies of Jepson’s Manual. There are still a few people who have a visceral reaction to nature, but most of Adams’ followers turn out superficial, pretty little pictures of pine trees and

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