Ansel Adams and the Japanese Internment Camps of WWII



 

Today is the birthday of Ansel Adams, born in San Francisco in 1902.  For his fourteenth birthday, he received a Kodak Brownie camera, the beginning of his journey to becoming one of our nationís greatest photographers.


Between 1942 and 1945, Japanese Americans were, regardless of U.S. citizenship, required to relocate to remote centers run by the U.S. Government.  The controversial decision to establish these camps and the hardships of those forced to live there can provide our students with much to think about.  Ansel Adams's Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar, contains photographs documenting life at the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California. In addition, this collection also allows viewers to study Adams' darkroom techniques and how they shaped the pictures that he created. A special addition to this collection is the text of the book "Born Free and Equal" which provides a collection of the Manzanar images as well as text describing the experience of the Japanese Americans held there.  View all  the images and then click on an image to bring up the accompanying bibliographic record.

 

From The Teachers Page,  the primary source set, Japanese American Internment, provides a collection of photographs, official documents and newspapers around this topic, including an excellent Teachersí Guide, and analysis tools to use with your students.