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The US National Park Service is hiring for the next Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams with Susan Ford, daughter of President Gerald Ford.
  • Thu-Huong Ha
By Thu-Huong Ha


Published This article is more than 2 years old.

Ansel Adams may soon have a successor.

The US National Park Service, an agency of the Department of the Interior, is hiring for a new in-house photographer. The job calls for someone to produce “large-format photographic documentation” of US buildings, bridges, and landscapes for the Library of Congress.

Legendary landscape photographer Ansel Adams was instrumental in bringing the US’s sweeping natural beauty into the national consciousness—and he, too, did a brief stint with the park service.

In 1941, the Department of Interior commissioned Adams to photograph the parks for a mural that would be shown in the department’s office. The project was canceled in the wake of Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, but Adams’s photographs were finally displayed in an exhibit in 2010.

Ansel Adams
Kings River Canyon in California, 1936

Adams was technically a contractor for the agency. Since the 1950s, only two photographers have held this full-time position, which is part of the agency’s Heritage Documentation Programs. One retired in 2008 after 50 years with the agency, and the other worked for 35 years before retiring in 2013.

“We’d love to get great candidates with similar skills to Adams—and some of what they document could become something really treasured,” a Park Service representative told Quartz. But, he stresses, the candidate will be asked to focus on architecture and bridges, in addition to landscapes. There will also be desk work.

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