The Donohue Collection

Recently, while visiting San Francisco, we took a family trip to Carmel by the Sea. We were mainly there for the wine tasting bars but stumbled across a fabulous Photography gallery in the town, called the Photography West Gallery.  Sometimes, I look through the window and enjoy pictures without entering a gallery, this time however I dared to venture in.

I’m stood looking at an image on the wall thinking, crikey that looks like an Ansel Adams..and it was ! There were lots of them!   The owner happily answered my sceptical questions, such as “How on earth did you get hold of these?” Turns out one of Ansel’s assistants “Phyllis Donohue” passed away and her private collection was brought to the gallery to exhibit.


“Donohue’s primary duties were spotting and print preparation, but she also assisted Ansel in the darkroom. One task assigned to Phyllis was the cataloging of Ansel Adams’ negatives. The most famous negatives had been placed and dated, but there were countless others with no documentation. Phyllis assembled a diary log of all Adams’ travels over the decades, and then assigned dates and locations to every negative.  Over twenty years, Ansel Adams would often give Phyllis a photograph to mark special celebratory events like birthdays and holidays. He also inscribed personal dedications to Phyllis on many of the photographs. She treasured these photographs for their association with what was the happiest working period of her life, and protectively stored twenty-two original photographs for thirty years until her death in the summer of 2018.”

The Donohue Collection.  is currently on shown until February 2019.


Turns out it’s part of their current exhibition  The Donohue Collection.