Image: Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico
(San Francisco, California, 1902 - 1984, Carmel, California)

Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico , 1942 (printed early 1970s)

Gelatin silver print
15 1/2 in. x 19 1/2 in. (39.37 cm x 49.53 cm)
Purchased with funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John A. McAlonan Trust Fund
1975.1
Arguably one of the best-known images of the American landscape, this photograph shows a small village on a plain beneath an expanse of darkened sky. The moon has just risen over distant snow-capped peaks, which are topped by a bank of clouds.  What gives the scene its extraordinary brilliance are the rays of the late afternoon sun illuminating the cloud bank and turning the crosses in the church cemetery a blazing white. Adams reprinted this popular image over the years, at first allowing random clouds to appear in the sky.  It was not until the 1970s, when he printed the sky as an almost cloudless dark-toned expanse, that he felt he had achieved an effect equal to his original visualization of the scene.
Adams was often inexact in the dating of his pictures. An astronomer friend, Dr. David Elmore, finally came to the rescue.  By studying astronomical data, Elmore determined that 'Moonrise' had been taken between 4:00 and 4:05 P.M. on October 31, 1941. Whatever the specific date or time of day, this image remains a timeless metaphor of the stillness of the American landscape and the magical character of its light.
  
Subscribe on Yahoo! Calendar

Yahoo Calendar Instructions:

  1. On your Yahoo Calendar page, find "Subscribed" on the left side-bar and click the "plus" sign
  2. Click "Subscribe to Other Calendars"
  3. Paste the following link in the "iCal Address" field:
  4. Choose a Display Name and Calendar Color and click "Continue"
Help with calendar subscriptions

Help with calendar subscriptions:

Most modern calendar software will allow you to subscribe to online calendars. If you have different software other than those that are listed, you can use the following URL in its subscribe feature to automatically display upcoming events:

Search the Collection

Quick Search

  Go

Advanced Search

Online Collection paid for with a grant from
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Rights & Reproduction

The use of images, text, and all other media found on this website is limited. Please review the Rights and Reproduction document for details.