Taos Pueblo is a Native American village in New Mexico which when visited by Ansel Adams in 1929 had remained essentially unchanged since the time of its first European visit by conquistador Francisco Vásquez de Coronado in 1540. The village was established in or slightly before the early fourteenth century and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Adams photographed the village on a trip to Taos in the company of author Mary Hunter Austin and the photographs appeared in a book published in 1930 by the Grabhorn Press called Taos Pueblo. That first edition of only 108 copies contained twelve actual black-and-white photographs printed by Adams himself on photo-sensitized rag paper and was signed by Adams and Austin. The photos reflect Adams’ early pictorialist leanings but also presage the technical high-contrast work he would eventually do which would make him the most recognized fine art photographer in America.

The book continues to influence the art world today. Writing in the winter 2013 issue of Criticism, critic Daniel Worden of the University of New Mexico said:

The book is frequently recognized as one of the crucial early projects that contributed to Adams’s success as a photographer and as evidence of his transition from pictorialism to the straight photographic technique [he later used].  Austin and Adams have a strikingly similar interest in regionalist form that is apparent in the way Taos Pueblo attempts to embody Taos through word and image.

This facsimile edition of the Grabhorn Press book was published by the New York Graphic Society in 1977. It contains all twelve of the original images which were reproduced by George Waters as duo tones. This facsimile edition is limited to 950 copies each signed by Adams.

 

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