“Fragile Waters,” a new exhibit opening on March 1 at the Maritime Museum of San Diego, is a powerful artistic and ecological statement through the inspiring black and white images of three renowned photographers and environmentalists – Ansel Adams, Ernest H. Brooks II, and Dorothy Kerper Monnelly. The traveling exhibition of 119 photographs, many not previously exhibited, takes viewers from the snow-melt of the High Sierras at 12,000 feet elevation to far below the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean. All three artists have spent their lives near an ocean; all three have used their strong “integrity of place” to protect the sanctity of the environment through the universal language of black and white photography. Designed to engage the viewer in a respectful and emotional connection to our most precious resource, “Fragile Waters” suggests our ability to change the course of the future.
“Fragile Waters” calls attention to water, the 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, these photographers each have lived their conviction, passion and commitment, and now share it through “Fragile Waters.” Brooks and Monnelly have each been referred to as the “Ansel Adams” of their genres. 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.
Water is more than a resource; it is essential to all life we know. In a time of blatant disregard for the sanctity of the environment, 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. Brooks, Monnelly and Adams, all are devoted to nature, and that energy flows through their images. Integrating the work of these three artists into a cohesive exhibit multiplies its impact many times over.
Special Guest Lectures will explore topics related to the exhibit (these lectures do not include museum admission):
- Sat, Feb 28, 10-12pm – Photographer Dorothy Kerper Monnelly ‘Coastal Wetlands & Marshes’with preopening tour of exhibit. Cost $15*
- Sun, Mar 01, 6-8pm – Underwater Photographers’ Night with Marine Photographer, Ernest H. Brooks II. Cost $15*
- RSVP required for special guest lectures. Call (619) 234-9153 x 106 or Click here to send an email to make a reservation.
The Maritime Museum of San Diego enjoys a worldwide reputation for excellence in restoring, maintaining and operating historic vessels. The museum has one of the world’s finest collections of historic ships, including the world’s oldest active ship the Star of India.
Founded in 1948, the museum grew out of the earlier efforts of a group of local historians and maritime enthusiasts who acquired the sailing ship Star of India in 1927. Now fully restored, the Star of India is maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers and skilled craftsmen and sets sail frequently.
The Museum displays permanent and temporary exhibits on maritime history, commerce and exploration and stages popular public events such as “The Chocolate Festival,” “Pirate Buccaneer Birthday Bash,” “Festival of Sail each Labor Day weekend,” and family sleepovers on the Star of India. Thousands of school children from throughout Southern California visit the museum each year for a variety of dockside and at-sea educational programs.