Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona

Accession Number

Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona

Ansel Adams

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1942; printed 1981

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

15 9/16 in x 19 1/2 in (39.53 cm x 49.53 cm);26 1/4 in x 32 1/4 in (66.68 cm x 81.92 cm);22 1/8 in x 28 1/8 in (56.2 cm x 71.44 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Harry H. Lunn, Jr.

Subject matter
This photograph depicts a view looking down into a winding desert canyon, from atop a high ridge. The rocky ledge from which the photograph was taken occupies the bottom left corner of the foreground of the composition. The photograph’s sharp focus reveals the intricacy of the stratified rock face; slowly molded by eons of erosion, the ledge appears almost to be melting and is composed of sinuous, undulating slopes and ridges striated with horizontal lines. At the bottom of the canyon, a dry riverbed curves around a steep plateau, its arid banks populated by desert shrubs. The sky above the scene is full of cumulus clouds, which cast raking shadows across the landscape. The crisp opulence of the photograph lends the image a radiant clarity, and emphasizes the immensity of the canyon vista.

Physical Description
Photographed from atop a high ridge, this photograph depicts a view looking down into a winding desert canyon.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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desert climate
modern and contemporary art
national monuments
natural landscapes
nature photography
river beds
rocky deserts
siliceous rock

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& Author Notes

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