Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico
Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)
Not on View

Adams is famous for his dramatic photographs of the natural world. Inspired by the landscape of the American West, his imagery established the standard by which nature photography has been judged for the past 60 years. Among his most celebrated images is "Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico," taken on Halloween. Here, Adams captures the intense, emotional response he experienced watching the rising moon illuminate the small town of Hernandez, New Mexico. One critic noted that Adams's photographs "transcend the simple description of objects and landscape; they depict transient aspects of light, atmosphere and natural phenomena." This observation is certainly true of this enchanted image, in which an otherwise ordinary evening in a seemingly deserted city has been transformed into a powerful, mystical moment in time.


  • Artist Name: Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984)
  • Title: Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico
  • Date: 1941
  • Medium: Gelatin silver halide print
  • Dimensions: Image: 10-3/8 x 13-9/16 in. (26.4 x 34.5 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Museum, Gift of the Artist
  • Accession Number: PH.1969.76
  • Copyright: © 2008 Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust

Object Information

Twentieth Century Photography

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1986-05-29 to 1986-08-10

A Tribute to Frederick Sommer, 1905-1999

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1999-12-22 to 2000-03-26

Nature Studies: Photographs by Modern Masters

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1989-10-05 to 1990-02-11

The Universe: Creation, Constellations and the Cosmos

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2001-02-04 to 2001-06-04

The Collectible Moment: Photographs in the Norton Simon Museum

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2006-10-13 to 2007-02-26
  • Gloria Williams, The Collectible Moment: Catalogue of Photographs in the Norton Simon Museum, 2006, cat. 1 p. 114
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Additional Artwork by Artist

Aspens, New Mexico Ansel Adams 1958
Clouds Above Golden Canyon, Death Valley, California Ansel Adams 1946
Mormon Temple, Manti, Utah Ansel Adams 1948

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