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Icons of photography exhibit on the Sonoma Plaza

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Scott Nichols Gallery has gathered an exhibition of iconic photographs by eminent photographers such as Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Brett Weston, Horace Bristol, William Garnett, Dorothea Lange, Wynn Bullock, George Tice and Imogen Cunningham.

The new exhibit, Masterworks of Photography, opens with a reception on Saturday, Dec. 7 from 1 to 4 p.m.

The show includes a set of 12 canceled prints of Ansel Adams’ renowned 1941 photograph, “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico.”

Printed in the late 1960s, this is the only known set in existence, according to exhibit information provided by the gallery. It was punch-stamped “CANCELED” by Adams for failing to meet his exacting standards. The flaw, Adams felt, was due to an imperfection in the paper. “As proof, he canceled the 12 prints and sent them back to the manufacturer, Ilford, for review,” according to a press release from the gallery. “Today, they serve as a historic record of Adams’ working methods.”

Also on display will be two equally remarkable vintage prints by Edward Weston. One, the evocative 1939 Nude Floating in a Pool, from the collection of Zilpha Riley, is the only known vintage print, signed and mounted by Weston, in existence. Of comparable import is an iconic 1924 portrait of Diego Rivera. Signed, titled and annotated “Mexico” in pencil on the mount, this print was a gift from Weston to his sister, Mary Weston Seaman, from whose personal collection it descends.

Another significant Mexican photograph, by Tina Modotti, depicts the Convent of Tepotzotlan, Mexico (Stairs through Arches). Taken in 1924, this signed vintage platinum print is a strong, study in light, form and shadow, according to Scott Nichols.

Additional noteworthy photographs on view include a rare vintage print of “Unmade Bed, 1958” by Imogen Cunningham; “Mendenhall Glacier, 1973” by Brett Weston; “PBY Blister Gunner, Rescue at Rabaul, 1944” by Horace Bristol; and “Real Estate Sign, Riverside County, California, 1937” and “Mid Continent Small Farm, US 62, Oklahoma, 1938” by Dorothea Lange.

Nichols specializes in a group of photographers called Group f/64—among them Edward Weston, Ansel Adams and Imogen Cunningham—as well as work by established, contemporary and emerging photographers.

The Scott Nichols Gallery recently relocated to Sonoma from its former home in San Francisco’s 49 Geary Street building. It's located at 450 1st St E., Suite G. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily.

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