Born in 8th May 1937, Robert Adams is a photographer from America specializing in the landscapes of West America. The photographic book, The New West, 1974 and also the exhibition titled New Topographics: Photographs of a Man Altered Landscape,1975 – made Adams prominent in the world of photography. In 1973, he became an associate at John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. He was awarded the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 1994.
Adams grew up in the suburbs of Colorado and in 1956, he shifted to South California to study English literature at University of Redlands. In 1965, he did his Ph.D., from University of Southern California, in the same subject.
In 1963, Adams bought a 35milimeter reflex camera and started to photograph mostly architecture and nature. He joined classes at Colorado Springs Fine Art Center and studied about photography techniques by a professional, Myron Wood. In 1964, Adams began photographing and after three years he started teaching it to others, however only part-time so that he could invest the rest of the hours in his projects. In 1969, four prints by Robert Adams were bought by Museum of Modern Art. A year later, he put all his time and effort in photography.
Adams has worked on American West landscapes for more than 38 years, covering Oregon, Colorado and California. He uses his camera to express his love for landscapes. Also, to understand how industrial and urban growth has transformed it.
In 1989, his work was exhibited at The Philadelphia Museum of Art. In addition, Yale University Art Gallery also organized a retrospective, The Place We Live, displaying Robert Adam’s master pieces. In 2005, his photos from the series, Turning Back were exhibited twice in different locations: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Munich’s Haus der Kunst. Three years later, his work was shown in a France festival called Rencontres d’Arles. In the recent years, in 2012 Adams joined hands with the curators at Washington’s National Gallery of Art to select more than 150 prints of his photos.
The National Endowment for Arts gave Adams two Photography Fellowships. He also received John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships twice. Additionally, he won The Friends of Photography peer award. Moreover, in 2009 he was given the Hasselblad Award.
Adams has published several photographic books, such as White Churches of the Plains, 1970; The Architecture and Art of Early Hispanic Colorado, 1974; The New West: Landscapes Along the Colorado Front Range, 1974; Denver : A photographic survey of the Metropolitan Area, 1977; Prairie, 1978; Beauty in Photography: Essays in Defense of Traditional Values, 1981; Summer Nights, 1985; Perfect Times, Perfect Places, 1988; Cottonwoods, 1994; Why People Photograph, 1994; West from the Columbia: River Mouth views, 1995; Eden, 1999; Alders, 2002; Pine Valley, 2005; Still Lives at Manzanita, 2006; Time Passes, 2007; Sea Stories, 2011; and several more books have been released on his work.
Robert Adams has produced many series of work, however two of them have received much popularity. They are: Burning Oil Sludge North Denver (1973) and East from Flagstaff Mountain (1975).
Steering focus to his personal life – he married Kerstin Mornestam from Sweden in 1960 who also loved nature and arts.