Ansel Adams - Before and After

The Booth Museum in Cartersville Ga opened in August 2003 and is the creation of local donors representing 2 generations of a single family- who wish to remain anonymous. They named the museum after a close friend whom they admired, Sam Booth.

Booth Museum - Cartersville GA

Booth Western Art Museum Cartersville GA [/caption]After an expansion in 2009, The Booth became the only contemporary Western art museum in the Southeast and the second largest museum in the state of Georgia at 80,000 sq feet. Bruce and I decided to visit the Booth after learning about their current exhibit of Ansel Adams photographs. What makes this exhibit so special is that it also includes the works of photographers that influenced Adams and those photographers that were influenced by Adams. The exhibit also features the works of contemporary photographers who were part of the Adams Circle of personal and professional relationships.  This is a unique exhibit because it presents his photographs in conjunction with those who preceded him, his peers, and those who followed him. Seeing his photographs in context with others helps place the photographs in a cultural and historical context.

Booth Western Art Museum Cartersville GA

Booth Western Art Museum Cartersville GA [/caption] Among the influential photographers were Alfred Stieglitz, Paul Strand, and Edward Weston, all familiar names and great photographers. His peer group included the photographer of one of our most iconic photographs – Dorothea Lange, who gained recognition for  Depression-era documentary work such as Migrant Mother. And that photograph is also on display and is simply stunning.The photographers who went afterwards – well I think Adams is still influencing photography - but some of the more notable ones that were influenced by Adamsare:  Dusard, Barnwell. Weber and Weston.

Booth Western Art Museum Cartersville GA

Ansel Adams - Before and After show[/caption] All of these glorious photographs would be more than enough reason to visit The Booth if that was the only exhibit. This western Art museum has works of over 200 artists; and the paintings and sculptures we gazed upon that day were spellbinding, giving us a view of life and landscape of our country’s early days. There are separate areas, or galleries that are arranged thematically: The Cowboy Gallery showcases the romantic life of the cowboy at work and play. This Gallery also includes incredible sculptures. Then there is another Gallery that has the theme of “Heading West” and sports an authentic, worn-and-torn stagecoach and is about the coolest thing like that I’ve seen! The subject matter covers fur trapping to mountain men in this area. Although celebrated for his work as a photographer, Adams also had a role as a conservationist and was instrumental in the founding of the Sierra Club.

Booth Western Art Museum Cartersville GA

Booth Western Art Museum Cartersville GA [/caption]The Booth has so many facets, and so much art – more than I can cover is this short post. From the numerous glassed displays in which they showcase authentic Indian and cowboy hats, headdresses and clothing and decorative arts to amazing sculpture this Museum is worth many follow up visits.The Ansel Adams Exhibition ends on March 10th – but this beautiful venue has so much to devour even if you miss the Adams exhibit.