Fragile Waters comprises 119 black-and-white photographs by three iconic photographers and environmentalists: Ansel Adams, Ernest H. Brooks II, and Dorothy Kerper Monnelly. These artists communicate the beauty and vitality of water, focusing on nature and engaging the viewer in affirming the intrinsic aesthetic, emotional and essential life value of water.
Fragile Waters calls attention to water, a critical resource, in all its beauty and power, inviting the viewer to engage with interpretations of three dynamic and dedicated photographers.
From Ansel Adam’s first magical trip to Yosemite at 14, Ernest H. Brooks II’s first scuba dive at 13, and Dorothy Kerper Monnelly’s infatuation with the salt marshes at 18, each of these photographers have lived their conviction, passion and commitment.
Brooks and Monnelly have each been referred to as the “Ansel Adams” of their genres, and like him, they have spent their lives near an ocean. Each has a strong “integrity of place.” Each has worked to protect the sanctity of the environment through the universal language of black-and-white photography. Environmental degradation raises growing concerns. Restoration and preservation of the Earth’s aquatic ecosystems — her Fragile Waters — is far more compelling through the empathetic lens of each of these environmental stewards.
Fragile Waters is designed to engage the viewer in a respectful and emotional connection to water. Water is more than a resource; it is essential to all life we know. This exhibition focuses on the beauty of pure free-flowing water, of reflections and light, of water forms such as rain clouds, ice and icebergs, and of life in water, providing us access to a world we may never otherwise know. Adams, Brooks, Monnelly, are devoted to nature, and that energy flows though their images.